US won’t force allies to choose “between themselves and China,” says Blinken

“Countries can work with China when possible,” the US secretary of state said Wednesday, on the second day of his trip to Europe. Washington will not require its allies to choose between the United States and China, he said, as the new US administration is as tough on Beijing as the previous one.

While he did not mince words with Beijing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday March 24 that the United States would not force any of its NATO allies to choose between themselves and China.

France or Germany seek to preserve a strategic balance in their relations with Beijing and Washington in order to avoid the alignment of the European Union with one or the other of these superpowers.

“Countries can work with China when possible,” said the US foreign minister at the Atlantic Alliance headquarters in Brussels, on his first trip to Europe as secretary of state . Antony Blinken noted in particular that climate change was an issue on which cooperation was necessary.

Beijing wants to “undermine the rules of the international system”, says Blinken

The US Secretary of State nevertheless accused Beijing of undermining the international trade order built by the United States and its allies after World War II. China is defending itself from such a design, ensuring that it respects the rules of institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“They [the Chinese] are actively working to undermine the rules of the international system and the values ​​we share with our allies,” said Anthony Blinken.

“We are convinced that by working together to make our positive vision of the international order a reality, we will be able to supplant China in any area,” he added.

A “systemic rivalry” with China

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada on Monday imposed sanctions against several Chinese officials for human rights violations in Xinjiang, the first coordinated action by the West against Beijing since accession to China. Joe Biden’s US presidency on January 20.

China responded with retaliatory measures against the EU .

The United States and the EU have also agreed to relaunch bilateral dialogue on China, according to a statement issued jointly on Wednesday by Antony Blinken and the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.

Washington and Brussels admitted to sharing the vision that relations with Beijing were “multifaceted, with elements of cooperation, competition and systemic rivalry,” the statement read.

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