U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared Wednesday that the relationship between the United States and China is the world’s “biggest geopolitical test” of the century.
In remarks released before he delivers his first major foreign policy speech, Blinken says the new Biden administration will “manage” ties with China “from a position of strength.”
“That requires engaging in diplomacy and in international organizations, because where we have pulled back, China has filled in,” the statement said hours before Blinken delivers an address at the State Department in Washington.
The top U.S. diplomat said Washington would continue to compete, collaborate and be “adversarial,” if necessary, with China, “the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system – all the rules, values, and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to.”
Blinken’s speech lays out President Joe Biden’s strategy to “renew America’s strengths” on the global stage with a pledge to “lead with diplomacy.”
Throughout his presidency, Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, launched a relentless trade war with Beijing, strongly suggested the coronavirus was leaked from the Chinese city of Wuhan laboratory, and challenged China’s military control of the disputed South China Sea.
The Biden administration’s other major foreign policy objectives include working to contain the global coronavirus pandemic, building a more inclusive global economy and addressing the growing global threat against democracy, according to Blinken’s remarks.
Repairing relations with allies, addressing climate change and powering a “green energy revolution” also are on the list of priorities, as is maintaining a lead in technology.
Blinken also said last month the Biden administration would seek to bolster and extend the nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers.