Joe Biden, then Vice President, with China’s leader Xi Jinping in 2015 (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
I joined China Radio International on Thursday to assess the course of the Biden Administration’s foreign policy, including its approach to Beijing.
Alongside a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, we discuss the speech of Secretary of State Antony Blinken setting out foreign policy lines, including the statement, “Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, adversarial when it must be.”
I was struck by two general themes from Blinken.
First, America has to get its house in order before it can preach abroad. And second, this was a rules of the game speech: not that the US wants confrontation with a China or a Russia, but that it wants a stable international system, whether this be economic issues, military issues, or democracy and human rights.
There are issues within China which raise international concern, in particular, [the treatment of Uighur Muslims in] Xinjiang Province and [repression of dissent in] Hong Kong.
Can you have a discussion with China about these issues, with international partners as well as the US, which is not confrontational and in which no one has to surrender or be coerced by another?