UPDATED 11:28 AM PT – Wednesday, March 24, 2021
According to Joe Biden’s secretary of state, the administration will not push China to hold up its side of a recent trade agreement with the European Union.
After a meeting with NATO foreign ministers Wednesday, Antony Blinken asserted the U.S. will not force allies into a “us or them choice” when it comes to China despite saying the communist country is a threat to the west.
While highlighting so-called climate change, however, Blinken said countries should work with China where possible. In the meantime, he said he U.S. will wait to see whether China will open its economy up to Europe as well as follow international labor laws.
As in the past, @NATO is adapting to changes in the strategic environment. I support @jensstoltenberg’s #NATO2030 initiative. We must address systemic threats and challenges to the Alliance, including climate change and aggressive, assertive adversaries and competitors. pic.twitter.com/Rw1GTFbRvE
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 23, 2021
“Our judgement is that the onus is really going to be on China to demonstrate that the pledges it has made on forced labor, on state-owned enterprises, on subsidies are not just talk,” stated the secretary of state. “And that the Chinese government will follow through on the commitments that it has made, so I suspect that not only will we be looking into that, but so will the European Union.”
Blinken’s comments come amid a wave of criticism against the Biden administration for seemingly backing down to China following talks with trade officials in Alaska.