By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 6: The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that the country must invest in its democracy so that it can confront the “biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century: our relationship with China.” In his first major address since taking office, Blinken outlined aspects of the administration’s role as President Biden released a document of “interim strategic guidance” on a separate press address that laid out similar objectives.
Blinken addressed numerous challenges from battling technological attacks to climate change and noted that US is likely to deal with communist government in Beijing, “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.”
The Biden administration stressed on improving democracy at home by citing the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol and said the US must lead by example. “Shoring up our democracy is a foreign policy imperative. Otherwise we play right into the hands of adversaries and competitors like Russia and China, who seize every opportunity to sow doubts about the strength of our democracy. We shouldn’t be making their jobs easier,” Blinken further said.
“Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be . . . The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength,” Blinken singled out China as their key focus in forging foreign policies. However, the Secretary of State also dismissed US’ past attempts of bringing democracy abroad through costly military interventions to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. “We’ve tried these tactics in the past. However well-intentioned, they haven’t worked. They’ve given ‘democracy promotion’ a bad name, and they’ve lost the confidence of the American people,” he remarked.