US to leverage bloc opposed to Russia’s war in Ukraine against China – Blinken

26 May 2022, 18:14

US secretary of state Antony Blinken speaks at George Washington University
Blinken. Picture: PA

The US secretary of state made it clear that America did not seek to change China’s political system, rather it wanted to offer a tested alternative.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said the Biden administration aims to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order from China.

In a speech outlining the administration’s China policy, Mr Blinken laid out a three-pillar approach to competing with Beijing in a race to define the 21st century’s economic and military balance.

While the US sees Russia and Russian president Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine as the most acute and immediate threat to international stability, Mr Blinken said the administration believed China posed a greater danger.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken
US secretary of state Antony Blinken was outlining the Biden administration’s China policy (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

“Even as President Putin’s war continues, we will remain focused on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order — and that is the one posed by the People’s Republic of China,” Mr Blinken said.

“China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order — and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it,” he said.

“Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years.”

Mr Blinken laid out principles for the administration to marshal its resources, friends and allies to push back on increasing Chinese assertiveness around the world.

But he made clear that the US did not seek to change China’s political system, rather it wanted to offer a tested alternative.

“This is not about forcing countries to choose, it’s about giving them a choice,” he said.

He also acknowledged that the US had limited ability to directly influence China’s intentions and ambitions and would instead focus on shaping the strategic environment around China.

“We can’t rely on Beijing to change its trajectory,” Mr Blinken said in the speech, delivered at George Washington University.

“So we will shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision for an open and inclusive international system.”

Xi Jinping
Mr Blinken said China was trying to subvert the international order under the leadership of President Xi Jinping (Bob Martin for OIS/PA)

The speech followed US president Joe Biden’s recent visits to South Korea and Japan, where China loomed large in discussions.

Mr Biden raised eyebrows during that trip when he said that the United States would act militarily to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of an invasion by China, which regards the island as a renegade province.

The administration scrambled to insist that Mr Biden was not changing American policy, and Mr Blinken restated that the US had not changed its position.

Mr Blinken said Washington still held to its One China policy, which recognised Beijing but allowed for unofficial links with and arms sales to Taipei.

US president Joe Biden, left, with Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida
US president Joe Biden, left, with Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida (Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool Photo via AP)

“Our approach has been consistent across decades and administrations. The United States remains committed to our One China policy. We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side,” he said, adding that “we do not support Taiwan independence”.

Mr Blinken said that while US policy on Taiwan had remained consistent, China’s had become increasingly belligerent.

He made the case that the global response to Mr Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could serve as a template for dealing with China’s efforts to mold a new and unpredictable world order to replace the rules and institutions that have guided relations between states since the end of the Second World War.

Mr Blinken said China had benefited greatly from that international order but was now trying to subvert it under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Police say that the suspect, 22, had mental health problems

Man charged with murder over Copenhagen shooting

Spanish military jets diverted the Menorca-bound easyJet flight for security checks.

Dramatic moment easyJet flight intercepted by fighter jets over 'hoax bomb threat'

Jake McLean (centre) was reportedly killed in the crash, whilst Yazmin Oukhellou (insert) was injured

Lauren Goodger's ex Jake McLean dies in car crash with TOWIE star Yazmin Oukhellou injured

A piece of glacier broke away on the Marmolada mountain

Six dead after chunk of glacier breaks off and slams into hikers on Italian mountain

Several people have been killed in a shooting in a Copenhagen shopping centre

Chilling video shows suspected Copenhagen gunman brandishing rifle before 3 were killed

Residents in a number of Sydney suburbs were ordered to evacuate

Thousands flee their homes as flooding hits Sydney

A woman died after losing an arm and a leg in a shark attack off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt

Second woman killed by shark off Egypt's red sea coast

Oscar Pistorius has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius meets victim Reeva Steenkamp's father in a bid for parole

North Korea has blamed its Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons coming from South Korea.

North Korea blames Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons from South

Exclusive
Boris Johnson said Putin does not have to give up power for there to be peace in Ukraine

Putin's made more than 30 nuke threats during Ukraine invasion, Boris tells LBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back at western leaders for their lack of "machismo" and said it would be ‘disgusting’ to see Boris Johnson topless.

Putin mocks G7 leaders' lack of 'machismo' and says PM would look 'disgusting' topless

Ukraine has retaken Snake Island after Moscow's troops abandoned the strategic outpost in what Russia's Defence Ministry has described as a 'goodwill gesture'.

'Kaboom!' Ukraine celebrates Putin's humiliation as Russia retreats from Snake Island

President Joe Biden listens as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks

Ketanji Brown Jackson to be sworn in as US Supreme Court justice

An investigator works outside the Bataclan concert hall (Christophe Ena/PA)

Life without parole for surviving extremist who carried out Paris attacks

A shark is seen swimming across a sand bar (Phil Marcelo/AP)

Great white sharks head to Cape Cod as busy tourist season gets under way

Police outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris (Catherine Wylie/PA)

Men convicted of involvement in 2015 terror attacks in Paris