US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that an increasingly powerful China is posing a continuous challenge to the world order by acting “more aggressively” overseas and “more repressively” at home.
He said, in an interview with CBS News, that the US does not want or intend to bring China down but would definitely not keep mum if the latter takes to crumple the rules-based international order.
He said that a military confrontation was against the interests of both countries.
Antony Blinken told CBS’ 60 Minutes that President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have had talks about a range of topics in their phone conversation, the first of its kind which lasted two hours, in February.
“President Biden clarified that in various areas we have actual concerns about China’s actions that include the theft of intellectual property and human rights violations,” he said.
In recent times, tensions have soared between the two arch-rivals over espionage, trade, and the pandemic.
He shied of calling China an enemy state even though Washington has been accusing Beijing of stealing hundreds of billions of dollars in intellectual property and trade secrets.
“We cannot avail the luxury of not dealing with China,” he said. “There persist real complexities to the relationship, whether it’s the confrontational piece, the competitive piece, or the co-operative piece.”
He said, China was acting like “someone trying to compete unfairly in increasingly adversarial ways but we are much more stronger and effective in bringing like-minded and similarly aggrieved countries onboard to say to China: ‘This can’t stand, and it won’t stand’.”
The US-China relationship is important to both sides and the wider world, with China repeatedly calling on the incumbent administration in Washington to improve the bilateral ties which decayed under President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.