WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that China had recently acted “more aggressively abroad” and behaved “increasingly in contradictory ways.”
Asked by CBS News’s “60 Minutes” whether Washington was heading for a military confrontation with Beijing, Blinken said: direction. “
He added, “What we have seen over the past few years is that China is acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. It is a fact.”
Asked about the reported theft of hundreds of billions of dollars or more in US trade secrets and intellectual property by China, Blinken said the Biden administration had “real concerns” about the intellectual property issue.
He said it sounded like the actions “of someone trying to compete unfairly and increasingly in contradictory ways. But we are much more effective and stronger when we bring like-minded and equally aggrieved countries together to say in Beijing: can not stand and it will not hold.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Blinken’s interview on Sunday.
President Joe Biden’s administration said on Friday that China failed to honor its commitments to protect US intellectual property in the US-China “Phase 1” trade deal signed last year. .
The pledges were part of the comprehensive deal between former President Donald Trump’s administration and Beijing, which included regulatory changes on agricultural biotechnology and commitments to purchase some $ 200 billion in US exports in two. years.
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Blinken arrived in London on Sunday for a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers where China is one of the issues on the agenda.
In the interview, Blinken said that the United States is not aiming to “contain China” but to “enforce this rules-based order – that China poses a challenge. Anyone who challenges that order, we let’s stay and – and defend it. “
Biden identified competition with China as his administration’s biggest foreign policy challenge. In his first speech to Congress last Wednesday, he pledged to maintain a strong US military presence in the Indo-Pacific and to spur US technological development.
Blinken said he spoke to Biden “pretty close everyday”.
Last month, Blinken said the United States was concerned about China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan and warned that it would be a “big mistake” for anyone to try to change the status quo in the Western Pacific by strength.
The United States has a long-standing commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensure that autonomous Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and maintain peace and security in the western Pacific, Blinken said.
Taiwan has complained in recent months about repeated Chinese Air Force missions near the island, which China claims to be its own.