There is one thing that has not changed in the USA. The administration of the new US President Joe Biden, like that of ex-US President Donald Trump, sees China as the greatest threat to the United States.
But the choice of means of dealing with this threat is what distinguishes Biden from Trump. While Trump instigated a trade war with China and thus called the bilateral test of strength, Biden and his Foreign Minister Antony Blinken are relying on multilateral diplomacy. Together against China is the motto.
Even in the previously only virtual appearances of Biden and Blinken in Europe, both emphasized the importance of a US-European partnership – among other things, to stand up to the power of China.
And now this week Blinken – and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is taking the first international trip to Asia – to those major partner countries that also feel threatened by China: Japan and South Korea.
The fact that Defense Secretary Austin is also involved shows that the United States does not see China only as an economic threat.
“We will defend ourselves against China”
Blinken became clear on Tuesday in Tokyo, who sharply criticized China’s behavior in the region: “If necessary, we will defend ourselves if China uses coercion and aggression to get its way.”
In a joint statement with their Japanese colleagues, the top American diplomat and the Pentagon boss underscored their determination to oppose China. Where China’s behavior is inconsistent with the international order, it represents “political, economic, military and technological challenges” for the international community. At the start of the trip, Blinken and Austin published a declaration that they want China “together Accountable “- and listed the human rights violations against the Uyghurs and Tibetans, as well as the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, the undermining of democracy in Taiwan or the” illegal international sea claims in the South China Sea “.
He continued: “If we don’t act decisively and move forward, Beijing will do it.”
In Japan, US ministers left no doubt that they would assist Japan in the dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea. The two ministers also reiterated that they rejected China’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.
China had recently decided at the People’s Congress to increase defense spending by 6.8 percent. China’s state and party leader Xi Jinping called on the military to be “ready to fight” to defend the country’s “national sovereignty, security and development interests”. He also called for “high-profile strategic deterrence”.
US demand for nuclear disarmament in North Korea
During their visit to Asia, the US ministers not only positioned themselves clearly against China – but also against North Korea. Addressed to Pyongyang, the ministers called for “complete denuclearization”. North Korea’s arsenal represents a “threat to international peace and stability”. Previously, Kim Jo-yong, the sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, said that if the US wants peace, then it shouldn’t seek arguments.(wak)