Antony Blinken’s address on countering Beijing’s influence “smears” the country, according to Chinese officials United States Secretary of State Antony John Blinken © Thierry Monasse / Getty Images

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday hit out against US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for “smearing the country” after he called for action to counterbalance Beijing’s growing global influence.

The day before, Blinken had issued a 45-minute-long address raising concerns over China’s “intent to reshape the international order” in what some have called the most comprehensive statement to date on China by US President Joe Biden’s administration.