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Monday, February 6, 2023

US to retain concentrate on China as best menace to worldwide order

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US secretary of state Antony Blinken says Washington will keep centered on China as probably the most critical menace to the worldwide order regardless of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the primary broad articulation of the Biden administration’s coverage towards Beijing, Blinken stated China was the one nation with the intent and capabilities to reshape the worldwide order and that it was doing so in a means that may undermine world stability.

“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,” Blinken stated on the Asia Society in Washington.

“Under President Xi, the ruling Chinese Communist party has become more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad,” he stated.

Blinken’s speech got here as US-China relations are at their worst because the two nations normalised diplomatic relations in 1979. In current months, ties have been strained by Beijing’s refusal to sentence Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and by its rising navy ties with Russia. This week Chinese and Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew collectively over the Sea of Japan as US president Joe Biden was in Tokyo.

“Beijing’s defence of president Putin’s war to erase Ukraine’s sovereignty and secure a sphere of influence in Europe should raise alarm bells for all of us who call the Indo-Pacific region home,” Blinken stated.

The speech got here on the heels of Biden’s first go to to Asia as president, a visit meant to additional his technique of bolstering alliances to counter China. It included a gathering of the Quad — a safety grouping that consists of the US, Japan, Australia and India.

During his go to to Tokyo, Biden stated the US would intervene with pressure to defend Taiwan if it got here below assault from China. The feedback appeared to overturn a decades-old coverage below which the US doesn’t clarify whether or not it might defend Taiwan, and got here as issues are rising that China might be emboldened to take navy motion.

But Blinken stated US coverage on Taiwan had not modified and that Washington opposed “any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side”. He stated the US had been constant over a long time, however China had modified.

“What has changed, is Beijing’s growing coercion — like trying to cut off Taiwan’s relations with countries around the world.” Blinken added that China was partaking in “increasingly provocative” exercise by continuously flying warplanes close to Taiwan. “They risk miscalculation and threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

Blinken stated the administration had carried out a complete technique over the previous yr to counter China, however was “not looking for conflict or a new Cold War”.

He described the US technique on China as having three parts: investing extra domestically to strengthen business and the economic system; bolstering alliances; and competing assertively with China.

Blinken portrayed the competitors as a battle between two ideologies — democracy versus authoritarianism — however stated Washington was not attempting to vary China.

“We do not seek to transform China’s political system. Our task is to prove once again that democracy can meet urgent challenges and create opportunity to advance human dignity, and that the future belongs to those who believe in freedom.”

While the speech was largely a summation of earlier insurance policies, Blinken stated the state division would create a brand new China-focused staff due to “the scale of the scope of the challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China”, which might take a look at US diplomacy “like nothing we’ve seen before”.

He stated the US was prepared to extend communication with China on a spread of points, however “cannot rely on Beijing” to vary its trajectory.

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

Follow Demetri Sevastopulo on Twitter

Source: www.ft.com

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