On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared in a foreign policy speech that the US relationship with China is the “biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century.”
Blinken said many countries pose challenges to the US but said, “the challenge posed by China is different.” He explained why the US is so concerned with Beijing and made it clear that Washington ultimately sees China as a threat to US global hegemony.
“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,” he said.
Blinken’s comments reflected a 24-page “interim” national security strategy that the White House released on Wednesday. The document reviewed many aspects of US foreign policy and identified China as a top threat to the US-led “international system.”
The document reads: “By restoring US credibility and reasserting forward-looking global leadership, we will ensure that America, not China, sets the international agenda.”
To counter China, the Biden administration is stressing the importance of working with allies and partners in the region. Part of this strategy is bolstering the Quad, an informal alliance made up of the US, Japan, India, and Australia.
The White House has taken other steps to prioritize China, including reshuffling the National Security Council by downsizing the team that handles the Middle East and increasing staff that works on Asian matters.
The Biden administration has continued sailing warships into the South China Sea and through the Taiwan Strait, and this provocative activity shows no sign of slowing down. The Pentagon is currently reviewing its posture in Asia and its overall China policy with an eye on increasing its footprint in the region.