China’s Xi Jinping Takes Rare Direct Aim at U.S. in Speech

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued an unusually blunt rebuke of U.S. policy on Monday, blaming what he termed a Washington-led campaign to suppress China for recent challenges facing his country.

“Western countries—led by the U.S.—have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to our country’s development,” Mr. Xi was quoted by state media as saying on Monday. 

Mr. Xi’s comments marked an unusual departure for a leader who has generally refrained from directly criticizing the U.S. in public remarks—even as his decadelong leadership has demonstrated a pessimistic view of the bilateral relationship.

The accusation of U.S. suppression of China’s development over the past five years comes as Mr. Xi faces charges from investors that China’s economy has been damaged by his policies, including the emphasis on national security.

The comments were part of a speech to members of China’s top political advisory body during an annual legislative session in Beijing, according to a Chinese-language readout published by the official Xinhua News Agency.