Anthony Blinken: ‘Our Purpose Is Not to Contain China’

US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken attends the Plenary Session of the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange during the seventh US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the US State Department in Washington DC, June 24, 2015. (Chris Kleponis/AFP via Getty Images)
Chris Kleponis/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Norah O’Donnell of CBS News’ 60 Minutes on Sunday evening that the goal of the Biden administration was not to “contain” China, but to protect a “rules-based order” in international relations.

The relevant section of the interview was as follows (emphasis added):

Blinken: It is the one country in the world that has the military economic diplomatic capacity to undermine or challenge the rules based order that we, we care so much about and are determined to defend. But I want to be very clear about something, and this is important. Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down. It is to uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to. Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and defend it.

O’Donnell: I know you say the goal is not to contain China, but have you ever seen China be so assertive or aggressive militarily?

Blinken: No, we haven’t. I think what we’ve witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. That is a fact.

O’Donnell: What’s China’s goal?

Blinken: I think that over time, China believes that it can be and should be and will be the dominant country in the world.

Notably, Blinken did not rule out the possibility that China would overtake the United States as the world’s dominant power. Instead, the Biden administration appears willing to accept global Chinese dominance, provided the “rules” are maintained.

Blinken’s approach implies that unlike its predecessor, the Biden administration appears to see America’s role as shaping China into a more responsible superpower, once it overtakes the U.S., rather than challenging China’s rise or restraining its ambitions.

In March, China rebuked Blinken to his face at the first meeting between the U.S. and China since President Joe Biden took office. When Blinken brought up Chinese human rights abuses, China cited Black Lives Matter on America’s supposed flaws.

Conservative radio host Mark Levin, who drew attention to the interview on his program Monday, said that the video was a provocation, highlighting U.S. weakness.

“This interview, I believe, will be what sparks an attack on Taiwan,” he warned.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, We Told You So!: The First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Radical Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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