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Expert in Blinken’s China policy speech: reiterated the existing strategy but did not clarify the goal

Expert in Blinken’s China policy speech: reiterated the existing strategy but did not clarify the goal

Expert in Blinken's China policy speech

US Secretary of State Blinken delivered a long-awaited speech on China policy on May 26. He said that the U.S. strategy can be summed up in three words: “investment, synergy, and competition”, that is, to compete with China in an all-round way while continuously improving its own strength and strengthening cooperation with allies. But Blinken also emphasized that the United States has no intention of changing China’s political system, nor does it want a new Cold War with China. American foreign policy experts believe that Blinken’s speech still fails to clarify what the goal of the current administration’s China policy is.

Emphasis on reshaping China’s surrounding strategic environment:

Blinken opened his speech by noting that while Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine continues, the United States will continue to focus on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order, which is posed by the People’s Republic of China. He said: “China is the only country whose growing economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power enables it not only to reshape the international order but to do so. Beijing’s vision will take us far from the past 75 years. Universal values ​​that guarantee the continuous progress of the world.”

Bonnie Glaser, a well-known Washington expert on China and director of the Asia program at The German Marshall Fund, told VOA that Blinken’s speech was not intended to surprise or to launch the Biden administration’s China policy new content. Instead, the speech was meant to show that the U.S. is well aware of what its interests in China are and that it already has a strategy to protect and advance those interests. “I think the key message is that the United States cannot change China, but it can seek to shape the strategic environment around China and by doing so sharpen China’s options,” she said.

Blinken said China has achieved great success over the past few decades, leaping from a poor and backward country to the world’s second-largest economy, with top-notch cities and public transport networks, and some of the world’s largest technology companies location and seeking to dominate the technologies and industries of the future. In addition, China’s military is rapidly modernizing, aiming to become a top fighting force with global reach. He said that China’s transformation is due to the talent, wisdom, and hard work of the Chinese people, as well as to the stability and opportunities provided by the international order.

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“But rather than using its power to strengthen and revitalize the laws, agreements, principles, and institutional mechanisms that have made it successful so that other countries can also benefit, Beijing is undermining them. Under President Xi, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has transformed itself at home. become more repressive and aggressive abroad,” he said, “but we cannot expect Beijing to change course. So we will shape the strategic environment in which Beijing operates to advance our vision of an open and inclusive international system. “President Biden believes that the next decade will be a defining decade. The actions we take at home and with the rest of the world will determine whether our shared vision for the future can be realized. To succeed in this defining decade. , the Biden administration’s strategy can be summed up in three words: “invest, align, compete”.

Sachs: Blinken speaks clearly and wisely-

Matthew P. Funaiole, a senior fellow at the China Power Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank, told VOA that Secretary Blinken’s remarks summed up the Biden administration’s China policy as an Improve on its own strength and unite allies to compete with China in an all-round way.

“What struck me was his focus on what the U.S. can and will do with increasing pressure on the international system — investing in our domestic sources of power, including attracting foreign talent,” he said. And work closely with allies and partners.”

David Sacks, an expert on U.S.-China relations at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes that Blinken’s speech made it clear that the U.S. has no intention of changing the Chinese system or seeking a “new Cold War” with China. , which contrasts with the Trump administration’s dialogue policy.

He said: “He (Blinken) also wisely pointed out that we are not seeking to change the political system in China, which is something we cannot do – the previous administration talked about separating the Chinese people from the Chinese Communist Party, which needlessly It fuels Beijing’s suspicion of U.S. targets and is best avoided.”

Nonetheless, Blinken emphasized that the differences between the United States and China lie between the two systems and between the two governments, not the two peoples. “We have major differences between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government,” he said. “But those differences are between the government and the system — not the people. The American people have great respect for the Chinese people.”

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Blinken also said that the relationship between the United States and China is complex and far-reaching, and the two countries will have to cooperate on many global issues. The two countries will have to deal with each other for the foreseeable future. “China is also an integral part of the global economy and our ability to address challenges ranging from climate to COVID,” he said. Simply put, the U.S. and China must deal with each other for the foreseeable future. That’s why this is the most complex we have in the world today. and one of the most important relationships.”

“While Secretary Blinken acknowledged that China poses a real challenge to the rules-based international system, (the speech) also leaves room for (and encourages) U.S.-China cooperation,” said CSIS’s Matthew Funavalle.

Cooper: Blinken’s speech did not clarify US policy goals toward China-

Zack Cooper, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told VOA that Blinken’s China policy study was well thought out, but more of a reiteration of the Biden administration’s current approach to China. policies, rather than introducing new strategies. He said the speech did not go into more detail about what exactly the U.S. aims for the U.S.-China relationship and how to measure progress.

“From my perspective, I don’t think we really understand what the U.S. really wants out of the U.S.-China relationship,” Cooper said. “Obviously, the point is to try to prevent changes that the U.S. believes would disrupt the existing order. But If it’s strategy, it’s hard to understand how to measure progress. So I think that’s probably where people will be most disappointed.”

Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank in Washington, also pointed out that Blinken’s China policy speech failed to clarify what the United States’ strategic goals were. The competition itself should not be the end goal, he said.

“If the Biden administration fails to articulate its stated policy goals clearly, it risks wasting America’s limited resources and bandwidth to respond to Beijing’s every provocation,” he said.

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Blinken’s remarks coincided with Biden’s first trip to Asia as president, including visits to South Korea and Japan, as well as a summit of leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) comprising the United States, Japan, India, and Australia. One of the purposes of the visit was to advance the U.S. strategy of strengthening alliances against China. President Biden also announced the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Japan.

But David Sachs, an expert on U.S.-China relations at the American Council on Foreign Relations, said: “Even with the IPEF announcement last week, the economic backbone of the U.S. (China) strategy is still almost entirely missing.”

Funavale: the US needs to clarify Taiwan’s policy stance-

Blinken’s speech also mentioned the US position on the Taiwan issue. President Biden answered in the affirmative when asked by reporters during his visit to Japan whether the United States would intervene with force to defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China. The remarks appear to overturn decades of vague U.S. policy toward Taiwan. But Blinken said U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed. He said Washington was opposed to “unilateral changes to the status quo by any party.” But he said the U.S. had been consistent for decades, and it was China that had changed.

Blinken said: “The change comes from Beijing’s increasing coercion — such as trying to cut off Taiwan’s ties with countries around the world and prevent it from participating in international organizations. Beijing’s rhetoric and activities are increasingly provocative, such as the almost daily dispatch of People’s Liberation Army planes. Flying around Taiwan.”

But Funa Valle of the Center for Strategic and International Studies believes that the United States needs a clearer Taiwan policy. Blinken reiterated that the United States’ commitment to the “one China” policy is expected, but this does not explain the difference between Blinken’s speech and previous President Biden’s disjointed claims that the U.S. would use force to defend Taiwan.

“The chaotic image of U.S. policy does not reassure our allies and partners and undermines its deterrence. U.S. Taiwan policy needs to be clear,” he said.

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