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Blinken Argues That China Is the Number One Problem

March 3 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Tony Blinken today outlined his foreign policy in a major speech at the State Department today, timed with the release a few hours later of an “Interim National Security Guidance” document by the White House. EIR has yet to review the speech and “Guidance” in full, but the geopolitical premise expressed by both jumps out.

The guidance states in bold at its beginning:

“Today, more than ever, America’s fate is inextricably linked to events beyond our shores. We confront a global pandemic, a crushing economic downturn, a crisis of racial justice, and a deepening climate emergency. We face a world of rising nationalism, receding democracy, growing rivalry with China, Russia, and other authoritarian states, and a technological revolution that is reshaping every aspect of our lives. Ours is a time of unprecedented challenges, but also unmatched opportunity....”

Blinken, after crying about eroding “democracy” and “authoritarianism” at home and abroad, listed the challenges he imagines face the United States, and declared the U.S. relationship to China to be “the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century.” He elaborates:

“Several countries present us with serious challenges, including Russia, Iran, North Korea. And there are serious crises we have to deal with, including in Yemen, Ethiopia, and Burma.

“But the challenge posed by China is different. China is 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, because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people.

“Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be. The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength.

“That requires working with allies and partners, not denigrating them, because our combined weight is much harder for China to ignore. It requires engaging in diplomacy and in international organizations, because where we have pulled back, China has filled in. It requires standing up for our values when human rights are abused in Xinjiang or when democracy is trampled in Hong Kong, because if we don’t, China will act with even greater impunity. And it means investing in American workers, companies, and technologies, and insisting on a level playing field, because when we do, we can out-compete anyone.”

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