Blinken lays out US strategy to counter China as rivalry grows | Politics News

Washington DC – Despite the current focus on Russia Invasion of UkraineUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “China poses “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”.

In a keynote address at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Blinken unveiled a multi-pronged U.S. strategy amid intensifying compete with China.

Blinken said: “Biden governance strategy can be summed up in three words: investment, association, competition.

“We will invest in the foundation of our strength here – our competitiveness, our innovation, our democracy. We will align our efforts with a network of allies and partners that work for a common purpose and for a common cause, and harness these two important assets with which we will compete with China. to protect its interests and build a vision for the future. ”

The top US diplomat stressed that Washington is not seeking to block Beijing’s role as a “great power”, but is seeking to protect what he calls a “rules-based order”, which he believes is the only one. maintain global stability and facilitate China’s own rise.

“We are not looking for conflict or a New Cold War,” Blinken said. “On the contrary, we are determined to avoid both.”

Relations between Washington and Beijing have grown strained over the past few years as the US prioritizes strategic competition with China in its foreign policy under former President Donald Trump, a position held by the current President. fully support. Joe Biden.

Between attempt to mend the relationshipThe Biden administration upset China last year when secure a deal with the United Kingdom to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.

Biden has also pushed for the revitalization of the Asia-Pacific Quadrant with India, Australia and Japan, and met with the leaders of the countries in his time. visit Tokyo earlier this week after hosting them at the White House in September.

In early May, the US also hold a summit in Washington for the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), many of which have a dispute with Beijing over its claims in the South China Sea.

Biden painted me of Beijing this week when he said that the US would provide military aid to Taiwan if China tried to take the self-governing island by force.

Another problem in this relationship is the United States’ criticism of China’s human rights record. In the final days of 2021, the Trump administration accuses China of commit genocide against the Muslim Uighur community in the western region of Xinjiang – a determination supported by Biden and his foreign policy team.

China has denied the genocide allegation, calling it “slander” and “absurd”, arguing that the US is pushing the accusations for geopolitical reasons.

The United States is disgruntled

On Thursday, Blinken outlined Washington’s grievances with Beijing, saying China had become “more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad” under President Xi Jinping.

“We see that in the way Beijing has perfected mass surveillance Blinken said. “The way it promotes illegal maritime claims in the South China Sea, undermines peace and security, freedom of navigation and commerce.

“The way it circumvents or violates the rules of commerce, harms workers and companies in the United States, as well as around the world. And how it aims to protect sovereignty and territorial integrity while standing with governments that blatantly violate them. “

The US secretary of state mentioned China’s close relationship with Russia, which persisted after the Ukraine invasion despite Washington’s warning.

China has taken a neutral stance on the war in Ukraine, calling on countries to support efforts to reach a solution to the conflict, while resisting pressure from Washington and its allies in Europe to condemn it. Russia.

It has also repeatedly criticized what it calls illegal and unilateral Western sanctions.

“It is clear that Xi Jinping sees his most important legacy as making China a superpower, making China a superpower,” said Christopher Heurlin, an associate professor of government and Asian studies at Bowdoin University. to what he considers its historically logical place as a world power. in the US state of Maine. “And that means economic growth, but it also means becoming a military power that can influence politics in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.”

For the US, Heurlin said focusing on competition with China is one of the few things that unites Republicans and Democrats.

“There is certainly a desire to maintain America’s superpower status and its influence in the world order, which means that these two countries have to a certain extent conflicting goals. So there is definitely the possibility of the least tension,” he told Al Jazeera.

Although the Biden administration intends to defend the international order inherent in documents such as the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, critics of US foreign policy argue that Washington has violated these principles.

For example, in 2003, the United States took the lead Invasion of Iraq without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council.

The Biden administration also continues to defend Israel in international forums and provides military aid to the country despite Israel’s violation of many provisions of international law, including building settlements in the South China Sea. occupied Palestinian territories. Furthermore, Washington recognized Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights of Syria.

Great investments

On Thursday, Blinken said Washington’s strategy to counter Beijing would see more investment in research and innovation in the US. He also said Biden had directed the Department of Defense to consider China its “speed challenge.”

“The administration is shifting our military investments away from platforms designed for 20th-century conflicts to asymmetrical systems that are longer range, harder to find,” he said. easier to move.

Blinken highlighted the Biden administration’s focus on alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Quad, ASEAN and a security partnership between the US, UK and Australia, known as AUKUS.

He noted that Biden this week launched an initiative called the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, bringing more than a dozen countries in the region together in cooperation. economy.

While Blinken made clear that competition with China will shape future US foreign policy, he said there are areas where the two countries should work together, including mitigating the climate crisis. , against COVID-19stop the illegal drug trade and ensure global food security.

Against this backdrop, America’s top diplomat warned of hatred or hostility at home toward Chinese Americans. and Asian Americans Wider.

“Chinese Americans have made invaluable contributions to our country; they have been doing so for generations,” Blinken said. “Truly treating a Chinese person goes against everything we represent as a country – whether a Chinese citizen visiting or living here or a Chinese American or any Asian American. anyone else, who has a claim to this country equal to any other.”

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