May 26, 2022
Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers speech on U.S. policy toward China 5/26/22 Transcript
Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers speech on U.S. policy toward China 5/26/22. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Use water cannons to stop a resupply of a Philippine Navy ship in the South China Sea. Actions like these remind the world of how Beijing can retaliate against perceived opposition. There’s another area of alignment we share with our allies and partners, human rights. The United States stands with countries and people around the world against the genocide and crimes against humanity happening in the Xinjiang region, where more than a million people have been placed in detention camps because of their ethnic and religious identity. We stand together on Tibet where the authorities continue to wage a brutal campaign against Tibetans in their culture, language, and religious traditions.
Speaker 1: (00:39)
And in Hong Kong where the Chinese communist party has imposed harsh anti-democratic measures under the guise of national security. Now, Beijing insists that these are somehow internal matters that others have no right to raise. That is wrong. It’s treatment of ethnic and religious minorities Xinjiang and Tibet, along with many other actions, go against the core tenants of the UN charter that Beijing constantly cites and the universal declaration of human rights that all countries are meant to adhere to. Beijing’s squashing of freedom in Hong Kong, violates its handover commitments enshrined into treaty deposited at the United Nations.
Speaker 1: (01:20)
We’ll continue to raise these issues and call for change, not to stand against China, but to stand up for peace security and human dignity. That brings us to the third element of our strategy. Thanks to increased investments at home and greater alignment with allies and partners, we are well positioned to out compete China in key areas. For example, Beijing wants to put itself at the center of global innovation and manufacturing, increase other countries, technological dependence, and then use that dependence to impose its foreign policy preferences. And Beijing is going to great lengths to win this contest. For example, taking advantage of the openness of our economies to spy, to hack, to steal technology, and know how to advance its military innovation and entrench its surveillance state. So, as we make sure the next wave of innovation is unleashed by the United States and our allies and partners, we’ll also protect ourselves against efforts to siphon off our ingenuity or imperil our security. We’re sharpening our tools to safeguard our technological competitiveness.
Speaker 1: (02:25)
That includes new and stronger export controls to make sure our critical innovations don’t end up in the wrong hands, greater protections for academic research to create an open, secure, and supportive environment for science, better cyber defenses, stronger security for sensitive data and sharper investment screening measures to defend companies and countries against Beijing’s efforts to gain access to sensitive technologies, data or critical infrastructure, compromise our supply chains or dominate key strategic sectors. We believe and we expect the business community to understand that the price of admission to China’s market must not be the sacrifice of our core values or long term competitive and technological advantages. We’re counting on businesses to pursue growth responsibly, assess risk, soberly, and work with us not only to protect, but to strengthen our national security. For too long, Chinese companies have enjoyed far greater access to our markets than our companies have in China.
Speaker 1: (03:28)
For example, Americans who want to read the China Daily or communicate via WeChat are free to do so, but the New York times and Twitter are prohibited for the Chinese people, except those working for the government who use these platforms to spread propaganda and disinformation. American companies operating China have been subject to systematic force technology transfer while Chinese companies in America have been protected by our rule of law. Chinese filmmakers can freely market their movies to American theater owners without any censorship by the US government, but Beijing strictly limits the number of foreign movies allowed in the Chinese market. And those that are allowed, are subjected to heavy handed political censorship. Chinese businesses in the United States don’t fear using our impartial legal system to defend their rights. In fact, they’re frequently in court, asserting claims against the United States government. The same isn’t true for foreign firms in China.
Speaker 1: (04:24)
This lack of reciprocity is unacceptable and it’s unsustainable. Or consider what happened in the Steelmark, Beijing directed massive over investment by Chinese companies, which then flooded the global market with cheap steel. Unlike US companies and other market oriented firms, Chinese companies don’t need to make a profit. They just get another injection of state owned bank credit when funds are running low. Plus, they do little to control pollution or protect the rights of their workers, which also keeps costs down. As a consequence, China now accounts for more than half of global steel production driving US companies as well as factories in India, Mexico, Indonesia, Europe, and elsewhere out of the market. We’ve seen the same model when it comes to solar panels, electric car batteries, key sectors of the 21st century economy that we cannot allow to become completely dependent on China. Economic manipulations like these have cost American workers millions of jobs and they’ve harmed the workers and firms of countries around the world.
Speaker 1: (05:28)
We will push back on market distorting policies and practices like subsidies and market access barriers, which China’s government has used for years to gain competitive advantage. We’ll boost supply chain, security and resilience by re-shoring production or sourcing materials from other countries and sensitive sectors like pharmaceuticals and critical minerals, so that we’re not dependent on anyone’s supplier. We’ll stand together with others against economic coercion and intimidation. And we will work to that US companies don’t engage in commerce that facilitates or benefits from human rights abuses, including forced labor. In short, we’ll fight for American workers and industry with every tool we have, just as we know that our partners will fight for their workers. The United States does not want to sever China’s economy from ours or from the global economy. Though Beijing, despite its rhetoric is pursuing asymmetric decoupling, seeking to make China less dependent on the world and the world more dependent on China.
Speaker 1: (06:31)
For our part, we want trade and investment as long as they’re fair and don’t jeopardize our national security. China has formidable economic resources, including a highly capable workforce. We’re confident that our workers, our companies will compete successfully and we welcome that competition on a level playing field. So as we push back responsibly on unfair technology and economic practices, we’ll work to maintain economic and people to people ties connecting the United States and China consistent with our interests and our values.
Speaker 1: (07:07)
Beijing may not be willing to change its behavior, but if it takes concrete action to address the concerns that we and many other countries have voiced, we will respond positively. Competition need not lead to conflict. We do not seek it. We will work to avoid it, but we will defend our interests against any threat. To that end, President Biden has instructed the Department of Defense to hold China as its pacing challenge, to ensure that our military stays ahead. We’ll seek to preserve peace through a new approach that we call integrated deterrents, bringing in allies and partners, working across the conventional, the nuclear, space and informational domains. Drawing on our reinforcing strengths in economics, in technology and in diplomacy.
Speaker 1: (07:56)
The administration is shifting our military investments away from platforms that were designed for the conflicts of the 20th century, toward asymmetric systems that are longer range, harder to find, easier to move. We’re developing new concepts to guide how we conduct military operations. And we’re diversifying our force posture and global footprint, fortifying our networks, critical civilian infrastructure and space based capabilities. We’ll help our allies and partners in the region with their own asymmetric capabilities too. We’ll continue to oppose Beijing’s aggressive and unlawful activities in the south and east China seas. Nearly six years ago, an international tribunal found that Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea have no basis in international law. We’ll support the region’s coastal states in upholding their maritime rights. We’ll work with allies and partners to uphold freedom of navigation and over flight, which has enabled the region’s prosperity for decades. And we’ll continue to fly and sail. Wherever international law allows.
Speaker 1: (08:58)
On Taiwan, our approach has been consistent across decades and administrations. As the president has said, our policy has not changed. The United States remains committed to our one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan relations act, the three joint communicates, the six assurances. We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, we do not support Taiwan independence, and we expect cross straight differences to be resolved by peaceful means. We continue to have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We’ll continue to uphold our commitments to the Taiwan relations act, to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. And as indicated in the TRA, to maintain our capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize our security or the social or economic system of Taiwan. We enjoy a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan, a vibrant democracy and leading economy in the region. We’ll continue to expand our cooperation with Taiwan on our many shared interests and values, support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international community, deepen our economic ties consistent with our one China policy.
Speaker 1: (10:14)
While our policy has not changed, what has changed is Beijing’s growing coercion like trying to cut off Taiwan’s relations with countries around the world and blocking it from participating in international organizations. And Beijing has engaged in increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity like flying PLA aircraft near Taiwan on an almost daily basis. These words and actions are deeply destabilizing. They risk miscalculation and threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. As we saw from the president’s discussions with allies and partners in the Inno-Pacific, maintaining peace and stability across the strait is not just a US interest, it is a matter of international concern critical to regional and global security and prosperity. As President Biden likes to say, the only conflict worse than an intended one is an unintended one. We’ll manage this relationship responsibly to prevent that from happening. We’ve prioritized crisis communications and risk reduction measures of Beijing. And on this issue and every other, we remain committed to intense diplomacy alongside intense competition.
Speaker 1: (11:28)
Even as we invest, align and compete, we’ll work together with Beijing where our interests come together. We can’t let the disagreements that divide us, stop us from moving forward on the priorities that demand that we work together for the good of our people and for the good of the world. That starts with climate. China and the United States had years of stalemate on climate, which gridlocked the world, but also periods of progress, which galvanized the world. The climate diplomacy channel launched in 2013, between China and the United States, unleashed global momentum that produced the Paris agreement. Last year at COP26, the world’s hopes were buoyed when the United States and China issued our Glasgow joint declaration to work together to address emissions from methane to coal. Climate is not about ideology, it’s about math. There’s simply no way to solve climate change without China’s leadership, the country that produces 28% of global emissions.
Speaker 1: (12:31)
The international energy agencies made clear that if China sticks with its current plan and does not peak its emissions until 2030, then the rest of the world’s must go to zero by 2035. And that’s simply not possible. Today, about 20 nations are responsible for 80% of emissions. China’s number one, the United States is number two. Unless we all do much more, much faster, the financial and human cost will be catastrophic. Plus, competing on clean energy and climate policy can produce results that benefit everyone. The progress that the United States and China make together, including through the working group established by the Glasgow declaration is vital to our success in avoiding the worst consequences of this crisis. I urge China to join us in accelerating the pace of these shared efforts. Likewise, on the COVID 19 pandemic, our faiths are linked and our hearts go out to the Chinese people as they deal with this latest wave.
Speaker 1: (13:35)
We’ve been through our own deeply painful ordeal with COVID. That’s why we’re so convinced that all countries need to work together to vaccinate the world, not in exchange for favors or political concessions, but for the simple reason that no country will be safe until all are safe and all nations must transparently share data and samples and provide access to experts for new variants and emerging and reemerging pathogens to prevent the next pandemic, even as we fight the current one. On nonproliferation and arms control, it’s in all of our interests to uphold the rules, the norms, the treaties that have reduced the spread of weapons of mass destruction. China in the United States must keep working together and with other countries to address Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. And we remain ready to discuss directly with Beijing, our respective responsibilities as nuclear powers. To counter illegal and illicit narcotics, especially synthetic opioids, like fentanyl that killed more than 100,000 Americans last year, we want to work with China to stop international drug trafficking organizations from getting precursor chemicals, many of which originated China.
Speaker 1: (14:46)
As a global food crisis, threatens people worldwide. We look to China, a country that’s achieved great things in agriculture to help with the global response. Last week of the United nations, the United States convened a meeting of foreign minister’s to strengthen global food security. We extended an invitation to China to join, we’ll continue to do so. And as the world’s economy recovers from the devastation of the pandemic, global macroeconomic coordination between the United States and China is key through the G20, the IMF. Other venues and of course, bilaterally. That comes with the territory of being the world’s two largest economies. In short, we’ll engage constructively with China wherever we can, not as a favor to us or anyone else, and never at exchange from walking away from our principles, but because working together to solve great challenges is what the world expects from great powers. And because it’s directly in our interest. No country should withhold progress on existential transnational issues because of bilateral differences. The scale and the scope of the challenge posed by the people’s Republic of China will test American diplomacy like nothing we’ve seen before.
Speaker 1: (15:57)
I’m determined to give the state department and our diplomats the tools that they need to meet this challenge head on as part of my modernization agenda. This includes building a China house, a department wide integrated team that will coordinate and implement our policy across issues and regions working with Congress as needed. And here I must mention an outstanding team at our embassy in Beijing and our consulates across China led by Ambassador Nick Burns. They do exceptional work every day, and many have been doing their jobs in recent weeks through these intense COVID lockdowns. Despite extreme conditions, they persisted. We’re grateful for this terrific team. I’ve never been more convinced about the power and the purpose of American diplomacy, or sure about our capacity to meet the challenges of this decisive decade. To the American people, let’s recommit to investing in our core strengths, in our people, in our democracy, in our innovative spirit.
Speaker 1: (17:00)
As President Biden often says, it’s never a good bet to bet against America, but let’s bet on ourselves and win the competition for the future. To countries around the world committed to building an open, secure, and prosperous future, let’s work in common cause to uphold the principles that make our shared progress possible and stand up for the right of every nation to write its own future. And to the people of China, we’ll compete with competence, we’ll cooperate wherever we can. We’ll contest where we must. We do not see conflict. There’s no reason why our great nations cannot coexist peacefully and share in and contribute to human progress together. That’s what everything I’ve said today boils down to, advancing human progress, leaving to our children a world that’s more peaceful, more prosperous and more free. Thank you very much for listening.