An influential Chinese think tank warned China its global image is the worst it’s been in 31 years and that a worst-case scenario could mean armed conflict with the US

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves during an inauguration ceremony in Macao, in 2019.

AP

  • In April, China’s top leaders were presented with a report that said anti-China sentiment was at its highest since 1989, when it spiked after the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
  • The concerns of anti-China sentiment have arisen because the coronavirus originated in China, and other nations have accused China of downplaying the disease’s severity early on.
  • The report also said China should prepare itself for armed confrontations with the US, as a worst-case scenario.
  • Reuters first reported on the paper, although its reporters had not seen it, and the news report was based on unnamed sources who had direct knowledge of the report.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An influential Chinese think tank warned China that its global image is the worst it has been in three decades due to the coronavirus.

In April, China’s Ministry of State Security presented a report to President Xi Jinping and top leaders, setting out that anti-China sentiment was at its highest since 1989, after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, according to Reuters.

The report, from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, also said China should prepare itself for armed confrontations with the US, as a worst-case scenario.

Until 1980, CICIC was part of the Chinese government. It’s now linked to the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence group.

Reuters first reported on the paper, although its reporters had not seen it, and the news report was based on unnamed sources who had direct knowledge of the report.

The conclusions of anti-China sentiment were triggered by the fact the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, as well as the fact that China has been accused of suppressing information and downplaying the coronavirus’ severity early on. China has dismissed these accusations.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told Reuters it had been China’s “special responsibility” to inform the world about the threat posed by the coronavirus “since they were the first to learn of it.”

While it was unclear what impact the report will have on China’s foreign policy and security decisions, it showed China’s leaders were taking the coronavirus backlash seriously.

It’s been more than 30 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre, a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing, where hundreds died.

Afterward, the US and other nations imposed sanctions against China, mostly for guns and technology. But China has since strengthened its military and is in a far stronger position.

In recent months, the relationship between China and the US has become strained. China has been pushing its foreign policy agenda, both to strengthen its own position and to dislodge the US from its position as a superpower.

It’s done that by strengthening its claim of sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, cracking down on protesters in Hong Kong, and intimidating Taiwan with military procedures. It also pledged tens of millions of dollars in funding to the World Health Organisation after the US announced it was freezing funding.

According to Reuters, these moves made by China are deepening mistrust and increasing friction between the two nations.

However, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson’s office released a statement to Reuters calling for cooperation between China and the US.

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