Secretary of State Antonin Blinken said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that China represents the only country in the world that can challenge the United States militarily, economically and diplomatically.
“I think about it over time that China believes that it – it – it can be and should be and will be the dominant country in the world,” Blinken told CBS News’ 60 Minutes.
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The Biden administration has made it clear that it sees China as a serious challenge to the United States
In February, President Biden announced the formation of a China Task Force for the Ministry of Defense to assess the future challenge from China. And in March, Biden proposed to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that democratic countries in Europe should meet to challenge China̵
Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state under President Obama, said during his confirmation hearing in January that China “poses the greatest challenge to any nation-state in the world vis-à-vis the United States.”
“I want to be very aware of something,” Blinken said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “And this is important. Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to hold it down. It is to maintain this rule-based order that China poses a challenge to. Anyone who challenges this order, we must stand up and- – and defend it. “
The interview was far-reaching. Correspondent Norah O’Donnell asked Blinken about the situation in Xinjiang, where China has been accused of human rights violations against the Uighur minority.
Blinken said the United States has made it clear that it sees “a genocide that has taken place” against the Muslim minority in the region.
“More than a million people have been put in, choose your designation, concentration camps, retraining camps, internment camps. When Beijing says, ‘Oh, there’s a terrorist threat,’ which we can not see. People.”
O’Donnell brought up China’s recent aggression in the South China Sea and with Taiwan. The report pointed out that just last week Beijing launched three new warships to patrol the region.
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Blinken struck an optimistic tone, saying that the United States has in the past taken up the challenge and insisted that it “deeply opposes the interests of both China and the United States – to – get to this point (a conflict), or even go in that direction” . “