On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab ahead of an in-person meeting of the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7).
At a joint press conference, Blinken and Raab discussed the need to rally the G7 countries against China and Russia. “We’ll talk about threats to the international rules-based order and to democratic values and human rights,” Blinken said of the G7 meetings that are happening over the next few days.
Blinken and other US officials often claim China is a threat to the so-called “rules-based order.” While the US is clearly following a policy of containment with Beijing, Blinken claims that is not the case. He said the Biden administration’s goal is not to “contain China or to hold China down” but to “uphold the international rules-based order.”
Blinken made similar comments in an interview on Sunday. He told 60 Minutes that China is the only country that has “the military, economic, diplomatic capacity to undermine or challenge the rules-based order.” He also said China has been acting more “aggressively” in recent years.
To face China, the Biden administration is seeking the cooperation of its allies, and they have taken action against Beijing together. Blinken mentioned that the UK joined the US, EU, and Canada in sanctioning Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The G7 consists of the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. For this year’s summit, the G7 invited guests South Korea, India, Australia, and South Africa. The focus on inviting non-G7 countries largely from Asia shows the priority the group has on countering Beijing.
Raab called the G7 and its guests a cluster of “like-minded countries” that is needed to protect what he called the “multilateral system.”
The diplomats also discussed Russia and the recent tensions over Ukraine. “I also want to thank the United Kingdom for joining us in holding Russia to account for its reckless and aggressive actions. We have reaffirmed our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which I’ll be visiting later this week,” Blinken said.
Both the US and UK have sanctioned Russian officials in recent weeks. Blinken said he welcomes the UK’s “recent announcement on the extension of Global Magnitsky sanctions to combat Russian human rights abuses.”