President Joe Biden has called China the United States’ “most serious competitor,” and made clear that he is ready to face the challenges China presents:
“We’ll confront China’s economic abuses, counter its aggressive course of action to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance.”
President Biden also said that the United States is ready to engage with China “from a position of strength.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a recent CNN television interview that a position of strength means strong alliances:“ That’s a source of advantage for us –- not denigrating our alliances,” he said. “It means showing up again in the world engaging. Because if we don’t, China fills in.”
Secretary Blinken also emphasized that engaging from a position of strength means standing up for our values: “Not abdicating them when we see the abuse of the rights of the Uighurs in Xinjiang or democracy in Hong Kong,” said Secretary Blinken. “It means making sure that we’re postured militarily to deter aggression, and it means investing in our own people so that they can compete effectively.”
In a telephone call between Secretary Blinken and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi, Mr. Blinken stressed that the United States will continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. He noted that the United States will work with its allies and partners in defense of our shared values and interests to hold the PRC accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait. He also pressed China to join the international community in condemning the military coup in Burma.
“The President has been very clear that he wants to put and will put and is putting human rights and democracy back at the center of our foreign policy,” Secretary Blinken told CNN. “And so, whether it’s China, or any other country where we have deep and serious concerns, this will be something that is front and center.”