WASHINGTON – Lack of trust between China and the United States increases the complexity of a world order currently under attack, Secretary of State Vivian Balakrishnan said Friday during an audience with the Asia Society in New York.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a frontal attack on the UN Charter, on a formula that has enabled peace, order, security and prosperity for decades,” he said.
dr. Balakrishnan is in New York for the 77th United Nations General Assembly and related meetings, including those of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) leaders and the informal ASEAN ministerial meeting, plus bilateral meetings with his colleagues and US interlocutors in New York City.
He was received at the Asia Society by Daniel Russel, Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Both the war and the Covid-19 pandemic have caused ongoing disruptions to the supply chain, Dr Balakrishnan noted.
“We are also witnessing a period of prolonged and record inflation,” he said, “and we don’t think this will be resolved in the foreseeable future.
“In addition, you also have a food and energy crisis.”
This “perfect long storm” has caused major turmoil in domestic politics worldwide, he said.
And the “complicated and difficult relationship between the United States and China adds another layer of complexity, risk and danger to this perfect long storm.”
As China’s strategic and economic influence has increased, so has China’s sense of vulnerability — and there is a strong and emerging sense of nationalism in China, said Dr Balakrishnan.
“It’s not just the so-called democracies that have domestic politics,” he said. “Communist regimes also have domestic politics, and leaders must also respond to the fears and the zeitgeist of their own societies.”
“We have all witnessed a China that has become more muscular in defending its interests. It has taken a more active international stance in the belief that its time has come, and it wants to take its rightful place in the world order,” he said. . .
“The key missing ingredient in this relationship, from an emotionless third country perspective, is a lack of strategic trust between the United States and China.