Kurt Campbell says “competition” would henceforth be “the dominant paradigm” and that working with allies will be the way forward.
The more than three-decade-long era of engagement between the United States and China, during which the world’s two largest economies developed closely interdependent relations, “has come to an end,” a top Biden administration official said.
“The period commonly described as engagement has come to an end,” Kurt Campbell, coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs and the top US official for Asia, said at a Stanford University event. He said that “competition” would henceforth be “the dominant paradigm” and that US policy would operate under “a new set of strategic parameters”. Bloomberg News quoted him as saying.
Campbell’s comments underscore the shift in US views on China since the Obama administration, as well as broad bipartisan consensus on the current direction of relations, following four turbulent years for the relationship under the previous Trump administration. .
Working with allies is the way forward
Mr Campbell said: “Chinese policy under [President] Xi are largely responsible for the shift in US policy.” Bloomberg News reported, adding that he cited “clashes on China’s border with India, an economic campaign against Australia and the rise of China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy” as examples suggesting that “China is determined to play a more assertive role”. He described the Chinese president as “deeply ideological but also rather unsentimental” and said the two top Chinese diplomats who held talks with top officials of the Alaska Biden government in March – Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Secretary of State Wang Yi – “were not around, within a hundred miles” of Mr. Xi’s inner circle. He said the US believed that “the best way to become a more assertive China is by working with allies, partners and friends .”
Commenting on his comments, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday that “the use of ‘competition’ [to] defining or dominating the ties between China and the US is a total mistake that will only lead to confrontation and conflict.” “Even if there is competition, it should be healthy competition that helps to strengthen each other and pursue common progress, rather than a vicious competition to beat each other. China firmly rejects US measures to exclude and invade China. in the name of competition,” he added.
Also on Thursday, when asked about U.S. Indo-Pacific military strategy, senior colonel of the People’s Liberation Army and spokesman for China’s defense ministry, Tan Kefei, reached out to countries seeking “selective and exclusive military alliances, a gang or the ‘New Cold War’ with bloc confrontation, amid increasing Chinese criticism of the Quad grouping between India, Australia, Japan and the US.
“The strategy of intensifying the military presence and emphasizing military competition will only exacerbate regional tensions and endanger world peace and stability,” he said, adding that “the US side is not on the one hand.” may claim to set up new defense hotlines. [with China] while on the other hand, military deployment in the Asian Pacific region continues to increase, often conducting close-in reconnaissance on China and even deliberately initiating dangerous conditions where aircraft and ships nearly collide.”