Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday the U.S. has to do everything to avoid a “Cold War” with China after President Joe Biden said the U.S. would intervene militarily in Taiwan if necessary.
China and the U.S. “have to deal with each other for the foreseeable future” on issues like climate and COVID-19, Blinken said at Georgetown University, calling the relationship one of the most “complex and consequential relationships” the U.S. has.
That’s why “we are not looking for a conflict or a new Cold War. On the contrary, we are determined to avoid both,” he said. The U.S. will “defend and strengthen the international law, agreements, principles and institutions that maintain peace and security, protect the rights of individuals and sovereign nations, and make it possible for all countries — including the United States and China — to coexist and cooperate,” he added.
“We don’t seek to block China from being a major power,” he also said.
Biden said “yes” Monday in response to a reporter’s question on if the U.S. would be willing to intervene militarily in Taiwan. The White House was quick to clean up his comments, saying he did not mean that America’s policy towards the island had changed. Biden also clarified later he did not mean that the U.S. policy had changed. (RELATED: Biden Says US Willing To Get Involved ‘Militarily’ Should China Invade Taiwan, Prompting Swift White House Cleanup)
Blinken described China as the “most serious long-term challenge to the international order” and said Russian President Vladimir Putin also poses a threat, especially after waging war on Ukraine.
“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 added.
Blinken said China is one of the world’s leading powers because of “the talent, the ingenuity, the hard work of the Chinese people” and due to the “stability” that the “international world order provides.” The Biden administration will focus on investing in the U.S., aligning with allies and competing with China to “defend our interests,” he added.