SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 17 June 2024, Monday |

Blinken says China wants to be ‘dominant power’ in world

China is seeking to surpass the United States as the top power in the world, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday, as he again warned on Taiwan.

Successive US presidents have called China the top long-term challenge to the United States, but some US analysts have seen Beijing’s ambitions as more focused on reducing Washington’s influence in Asia than about a global role.

Asked at a forum about China’s intentions, Blinken said, “I think that what it seeks is to be the dominant power in the world — militarily, economically, diplomatically.”

“That’s what Xi Jinping is seeking,” Blinken said of China’s president.

“And in a sense, that’s not a surprise. There’s an extraordinary history in China,” he said at the event organized by The Atlantic magazine.

“I think if you look and listen to Chinese leaders, they are seeking to recover what they believe is their rightful place in the world.”

Blinken has previously spoken in more indirect terms about China aspiring to “reshape the international order.”

President Joe Biden’s administration, while saying it is clear-eyed on China and stepping up pressure, has also been increasing dialogue in hopes of managing tensions, with Blinken paying a rare visit to Beijing in June.

But tensions remain particularly high over Taiwan, the self-governing democracy claimed by Beijing which has staged a series of major military drills.

Blinken said the stakes were “extraordinarily high” on Taiwan due to its role in the global economy, including as a hub for advanced semiconductors.

“Were there to be a crisis over Taiwan precipitated by Chinese actions, you would have a global economic crisis,” Blinken said.

“I think the message that China is hearing increasingly from countries around the world is, don’t stir the pot.

“We want — everyone wants — peace and stability and everyone wants the status quo to be preserved.”

    Source:
  • Asharq Al-Awsat