Is the US involved with China in ‘new cold war’? The blinker responds
Is the US involved with China in ‘new cold war’?  The blinker responds

Is the US involved with China in ‘new cold war’? The blinker responds

The United States does not want to block China from growing its economy, but wants the country to comply with international rules, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said on Thursday in a long-awaited speech on the United States’ strategy to address China’s progress as a major power.

Washington will not try to change China’s political system, but will defend international law and institutions that maintain peace and security and allow countries to coexist, he said.

“We are not looking for conflict or a new Cold War. On the contrary, we are determined to avoid both, ”Blinken said in the 45-minute speech at George Washington University, which covered most of the controversial bilateral issues.

Relations between the United States and China sank to the lowest level in decades under former President Donald Trump and have deteriorated further under President Joe Biden, a Democrat who has stopped his Republican predecessor’s extensive tariffs on Chinese goods while pursuing closer ties. with allies to push Beijing back. .

Seventeen months into his administration, Biden had faced criticism from Republicans and some foreign policy monitors for not announcing a formal strategy for China, the world’s second largest economy, and Washington’s main strategic rival.

Foreign crises, including the messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year and Russia’s war in Ukraine, have created distractions for Biden, who has vowed not to let China overtake the United States as global leader on his watch.

But his administration has tried to exploit fresh solidarity with allies spurred on by the Ukraine crisis and the “no-limits” partnership that China announced with Moscow just weeks before Russia’s invasion of its neighbor on February 24.

The most serious long-term challenge

Blinken said China posed “the most serious long-term challenge to international order.”

He outlined a strategy for investing in American competitiveness and adapting to allies and partners to compete with China, calling that competition “ours to lose.”

He said the Biden administration was ready to increase direct communication with Beijing across a wide range of issues and would “respond positively” if Chinese officials intervene to address concerns.

Read more: Is the US containment of China a new ‘war on terror’?

“But we can not trust Beijing to change its course. So we want to shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision of an open and inclusive international system,” he said.

In response, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that the United States and China share “comprehensive common interests and deep-seated cooperation potential”, and “competition … should not be used to define the overall picture of China-US relations.”

“China and the United States can both win on cooperation and lose on confrontation,” said embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu.

He noted a virtual summit between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping last November, saying the relationship was “at a critical crossroads.”

Read more: Can the United States and its allies block China’s strong influence in Asia and the Pacific?

“We hope the US side will work with China to seriously implement the common understanding that the two leaders reached to improve communication, address differences and focus on cooperation,” he said.

Oppressive and aggressive

While Blinken credited the hard work of the Chinese people for the historic economic transformation of their country over the past four decades, he aimed directly at Xi Jinping and said:

“Under President Xi, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has become more oppressive at home and more aggressive abroad.”

Blinken’s speech coincided with the start of a sweeping tour of China’s foreign minister in the Pacific Islands, an increasingly tense front in the competition for influence between Beijing and Washington.

Read more: China’s Xi is against the use of economic sanctions

The speech was postponed earlier in May after Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 and follows a month of intensive US diplomacy focusing on Indo-Pacificincluding Biden’s first trip as president to the region.

Blinken reiterated the US commitment to the one-China policy over the Chinese-claimed democratic Taiwan, although Biden said earlier this week that the US would become militarily involved if China attacked Taiwan.

Washington has had a long one politics of strategic ambiguity as to whether it would defend Taiwan militarily, and Biden and aides later said his remarks did not reflect a political shift.

Under the one-China policy, Washington officially recognizes Beijing diplomatically, even though it is required by law to give Taiwan the means to defend itself. Blinken said this was unchanged and that Washington did not support Taiwan’s independence.

Read more: The United States spends $ 150 million in ASEAN to counter China

“What has changed is Beijing’s growing coercion, like trying to cut off Taiwan’s ties with countries around the world and block it from participating in international organizations,” he said, calling the Chinese military’s almost daily activity near the island ” deeply destabilizing. “

Reuters with additional input from GVS News Desk

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