Blinken to unveil ‘China House’ team at State Department to counter Beijing
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday will announce the launching of a “China House” in the State Department, a team of diplomats across the agency who will coordinate U.S. policy to confront China on its global ambitions.
Blinken will make the announcement on U.S. strategy during a wide-ranging speech at George Washington University on the Biden administration’s approach toward relations with Beijing.
The China House will be a department-wide integrated team that will coordinate and implement the administration’s policy across issues and regions, according to an excerpt of Blinken’s remarks provided by the State Department.
“The scale and scope of the challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China will test American diplomacy like nothing we’ve seen before,” Blinken will say, according to prewritten remarks. “I’m determined to give our Department and our diplomats the tools they need to meet this challenge head on, as part of my modernization agenda.”
Blinken’s anticipated speech, originally delayed from early May after the secretary contracted COVID-19, is meant to bring President Biden’s focus on China back to the forefront, even as the administration has directed an enormous amount of its resources on challenging Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“Even as [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin’s war continues, we will remain focused on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order — and that is the one posed by the People’s Republic of China,” Blinken is expected to say.
Biden came into office identifying China as the greatest challenge facing the U.S. in the 21st century, and officials long described the administration’s strategy toward Beijing as cooperation, competition and confrontation.
Blinken’s first public remarks at the State Department in January 2021 described the U.S.-China relationship as “arguably the most important relationship that we have in the world going forward.”
Blinken is expected to shift rhetoric on Thursday to describe Washington’s strategy as “invest, align, compete” to counter China’s growing global power.
“We will invest in the foundations of our strength at home — our competitiveness, innovation, and democracy. We will align our efforts with our network of allies and partners, acting with common purpose and in common cause. And harnessing those two key assets, we will compete with China to defend our interests and build our vision for the future,” Blinken will say.
The speech follows Biden’s recent trip to Asia, where he was joined by Blinken and other high-level U.S. officials, on a visit to South Korea and Japan.
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