U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to tell NATO allies on Wednesday that China poses a threat to the West, however, the U.S. will not force anyone to choose sides between Washington and Beijing.
France and Germany are willing to try and find a balance in relations with both Beijing and Washington, that would ensure that the EU is not allied too closely with one of the world’s most powerful countries, giving a reason to alienate the other.
Blinken’s speech is set to take place at NATO headquarters, in Brussels, at 14:00 GMT.
“The United States won’t force allies into an ‘us-or-them ‘ choice with China…Countries can work with China where possible,” he will say, adding the issue of climate change remains an area where cooperation is necessary.
On the other hand, Blinken will accuse China of ruining the international trading order that the United States and its allies built after World War Two.
He says China is actively working to undercut the rules of the international system and the values that the US shares with its allies.
China, however, denies these allegations, saying Beijing respects global rules upheld by international institutions such as the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund.
“If we work together to make real our positive vision for the international order … we’re confident that we can outcompete China on any playing field,” Blinken is set to say today in Brussels.
The United States, the EU, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on Monday, to fight for rights abuses in Xinjiang.
It became the first coordinated Western action against Beijing, since the beginning of Biden’s presidency, and Beijing hit the U.S. back with punitive measures.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General, warned on Wednesday that China is not a country that shares NATO’s values, meaning NATO being a club of democracies that favours free speech and freedom of association.