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Attorney General William P. Barr warned the Chinese Communist Party was moving with brutal effectiveness to control huge swathes of the globe and “make the world safe for dictatorship”. He said: “The CCP rules with an iron fist over one of the great ancient civilisations of the world.
“It seeks to leverage the immense power, productivity, and ingenuity of the Chinese people to overthrow the rules-based international system and to make the world safe for dictatorship.
“How the United States responds to this challenge will have historic implications and will determine whether the United States and its liberal democratic allies will continue to shape their own destiny or whether the CCP and its autocratic tributaries will control the future.
“China is no longer hiding its strength, nor biding its time.
“From the perspective of its communist rulers, China’s time has arrived.”
In the blistering speech in Michigan Mr Barr spoke about America’s response to “the global ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party” and accused US companies of “kowtowing” to Beijing for short-term profits.
He said China’s Communist Party has “stepped up” efforts to “coerce” American business leaders to push its own agenda.
He added the government in Beijing was now engaged in an “aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government campaign” to gain control of the global economy.
He accused Beijing of hiding behind American voices to allow the Chinese government to increase its influence on pro-regime policies in the US.
He warmed American corporate leaders “should be alert to how you might be used, and how your efforts on behalf of a foreign company or government could implicate the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
The aim of Mr Barr’s speech on Thursday was to prompt American people to re-evaluate their relationship with China.
Mr Barr said: “The ultimate ambition of China’s rulers isn’t to trade with the United States. It is to raid the United States.
“If you are an American business leader, appeasing the People’s Republic of China may bring short-term rewards.
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“But in the end, the People’s Republic of China’s goal is to replace you.”
This comes as US President Donald Trump signed legislation to punish China for its clampdown on Hong Kong.
Mr Trump’s order vows to end preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong after China inflicted a new security law.
The US president said: “No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies.”
He said he had signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act which passed unanimously in Congress in early July.
He added: “This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.”
Mr Trump also said he holds China fully responsible for concealing the coronavirus and “unleashing it upon the world”.
The US has over 3.5 million coronavirus cases, the highest in the world.
The number of reported deaths due to COVID-19 in America has reached 138 thousand.
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