An internal Chinese report suggests that Beijing risks a rising wave of hostility in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak that could tip relations with the US into a confrontation, Reuters reported.
The report, drafted by the Ministry of State Security to Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping, argues that global anti-China sentiment is at its highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Beijing is taking seriously the threat of a building backlash that could threaten what China sees as its strategic interests overseas and its view of its security standing.
As a result, Beijing now faces a wave of anti-China sentiment led by the US in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak and needs to prepare, in the worst-case scenario, for an armed confrontation with western global powers, according to people familiar with the report.
The report was drawn up by the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a think-tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson’s office hasn’t yet commented on the report.
Relations between the US and China are at their worst point in decades with deepening friction points on US accusations of unfair trade and technology practices to disputes over Hong Kong, Taiwan, and tensions in the South China Sea.