The United States has denied allegations of attempting to suppress China and reiterated its desire to avoid decoupling the two economies, according to a statement by a State Department spokesperson, as reported by CNBC.
The comments come amid rising tensions between the world's two largest economies over issues ranging from trade to espionage.
"We have made it clear we do not seek to contain China or have a new Cold War," the U.S. State Department spokesperson said. "...we do not want to sever China's economy from ours, though China is pursuing asymmetric decoupling."
"Asymmetric decoupling" is a term used to describe a situation where one country seeks to reduce its dependence on another country's economy, while the second country maintains its level of economic engagement with the first country. In this scenario, the two countries become increasingly decoupled from each other, but the degree of decoupling is unequal.
The term has often been used in the context of the economic and technological rivalry between the United States and China. The U.S. has sought to reduce its reliance on Chinese imports, particularly in strategic industries such as semiconductors, while also restricting the export of sensitive technologies to China.
China, meanwhile, has sought to maintain its economic engagement with the U.S., but also to reduce its dependence on U.S. technology and to increase its self-sufficiency in critical sectors.
Economic and geopolitical tensions between the United States and China have been simmering for years, and have only intensified in recent times. The two countries have engaged in a protracted trade war, with the U.S. accusing China of unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.
China, in turn, has accused the U.S. of economic bullying and attempted to counter U.S. tariffs with tariffs of its own.
Beyond the economic realm, the U.S. and China have also been at odds on a range of geopolitical issues. The two countries have clashed over the South China Sea, with the U.S. conducting freedom of navigation operations in waters China claims as its own.
The U.S. has also criticized China's human rights record, particularly its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region. China, for its part, has accused the U.S. of interfering in its internal affairs.
The tensions have broader implications for the global order, as the U.S. and China are the world's two largest economies and superpowers. The two countries have jostled for influence in various parts of the world, including in Africa and Southeast Asia. As the rivalry between the U.S. and China continues, it has the potential to reshape the international landscape in significant ways.