The “intense competition” between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific does not have to become another Cold War, says US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, describing the US as “doubling” its presence in the region.
Earlier on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Asia-Pacific region should not return to the tensions of the Cold War era, and warned against forming circles on geopolitical grounds.
In a video link address to Australia’s Lowy Institute, Sullivan said the United States had left Afghanistan to place greater emphasis on the Indo-Pacific, where it wanted to minimize the potential for conflict.
In response to questions, Sullivan tried to downplay fears about the risk of another Cold War with China.
“All this talk about the United States and China going into another cold war and we’re headed for conflict… we have a choice not to do that,” Sullivan said.
“We have a choice instead to go ahead with what President Biden says is fierce competition, where we’re going to compete vigorously on multiple dimensions, including economics and technology, where we stand up for our values, but we also recognize China will be in it.” be a factor in the international system in the near future.”
A US strategy to build a “network of alliances” worldwide led to the AUKUS pact with Australia and Britain to share nuclear submarine technology; partner with the Quad Democracies of Australia, India and Japan to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the region; and form a trade and technology council between the US and the EU to push China back on emerging technology, he said.
While the AUKUS deal showed intensified involvement in the Indo-Pacific, it didn’t mean the US turned its back on other regions of the world, especially Europe, Sullivan said.
Australian Associated Press