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Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s disastrous 60 Minutes interview on China

The 60 Minutes interview with Secretary of State Antony Blinken was a propaganda win for the Chinese Communist Party. It showed an American Administration that is weak, intimidated, and incapable of confronting China. It was absolutely pathetic. What a difference from the Trump Administration. What a difference Blinken is from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo was was tough as nails, he never backed down from a fight, and he was not a defeatist. Secretary Blinken is a joke.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the threat posed by China

By CBS News, May 6, 2021

In his first 100 days, President Biden focused on the coronavirus pandemic, but over the course of his term, the Biden presidency will be defined by how the United States competes with China. In a few years, China’s economy is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest.

To determine how the United States will deal with China’s growing influence, Mr. Biden has chosen one of his closest aides as secretary of state. It falls to Antony Blinken to rebuild a depleted and demoralized State Department, repair U.S. alliances and champion what diplomats call “the rules-based international order” — the written and unwritten code that governs how nations deal with one another. Rules that, he says, are now threatened by China.

Antony 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– and defend it.

Norah 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?

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

Norah O’Donnell: What’s China’s goal?

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

Chinese fighter jets are increasingly visible in the skies above the western Pacific, where the U.S. Navy also has a presence.

This past week, China’s President Xi unveiled three new warships to patrol the South China Sea.

It already has the world’s largest Navy – and could use it to invade Taiwan, a democratic island and long-standing U.S. ally.

Norah O’Donnell:  Do you think we’re heading towards some sort of military confrontation with China?

Antony Blinken: I think it’s profoundly against the interests of both China and the United States– to– to get to that point, or even to head in that direction.

Norah O’Donnell: Let’s talk about human rights. Describe what you see is happening in Xinjiang that maybe the rest of the world doesn’t.

Antony Blinken: We’ve made clear that we see a genocide having taken place against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. More than a million people have been put into, choose your term, concentration camps, reeducation camps, internment camps. When Beijing says, “Oh, there’s a terrorism threat,” which we don’t see. It’s not coming from a million people.

Six weeks ago in Alaska, Secretary Blinken confronted Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, about genocide in Xinjiang and China’s military aggression.

Blinken to Jiechi: We feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.

The exchange became an international incident caught on camera and not lost in translation.

Jiechi through translator: The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.

Norah O’Donnell: If Xinjiang isn’t a red line with China, then what is?

Antony Blinken: Look, we don’t have– the luxury of not dealing with China. There are real complexities to the relationship, whether it’s the adversarial piece, whether it’s the competitive piece, whether it’s the cooperative piece.

Even before the meeting in Alaska, President Xi had warned about the dawn of a new cold war. During President Trump’s time in office, China found the U.S. less predictable than past administrations.

President Trump: And I just announced another 10% tariff.

Mr. Trump imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products in response to what he called unfair trade practices — and the theft of U.S. intellectual property. So far, the Biden administration has kept the tariffs in place.

President Biden: I also told President Xi that we’ll maintain a strong military presence. 

China may be the only big issue of the day in Washington in which Democrats and Republicans find common cause.

Norah O’Donnell: The Chinese have stolen hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of trade secrets and intellectual property from the United States. That sounds like the actions of an enemy.

Antony Blinken: Certainly sounds like the actions of– of– of someone who’s trying to compete unfairly– and increasingly in adversarial ways. But we’re much more effective and stronger when we’re bringing like-minded and similarly aggrieved countries together to say to– Beijing, “This can’t stand, and it won’t stand.”

Norah O’Donnell: So is that a message that President Biden has delivered to President Xi?

Antony Blinken: Certainly in their– in their first conversation– they covered a lot of ground.

Norah O’Donnell: It was a, reportedly, a two-hour phone call?

Antony Blinken: It was. Yeah, I was there.

Norah O’Donnell: And so did President Biden tell President Xi to cut it out?

Antony Blinken: President Biden made clear– that in a number of– areas we have– real concerns about the actions that–China has taken, and that includes in the economic area, and that includes– the theft of intellectual property.

Norah O’Donnell: China’s gross domestic product is expected to surpass the United States as early as 2028.

Antony Blinken: Well, it’s a large country, it’s got a lotta people.

Norah O’Donnell: If China becomes the wealthiest country in the world, doesn’t that also make it the most powerful?

Antony Blinken: A lot depends on how it uses that wealth. It has an aging population. It has significant environmental problems. And so on. But here’s the way I think about it, Norah, writ large, if we’re talking about what really makes the wealth of a nation, fundamentally it’s its human resources and the ability of any one country to maximize their potential. That’s the challenge for us, it’s the challenge for China. I think we’re in a much better place to maximize that– that human potential than any country on Earth, if we’re smart about it.

Norah O’Donnell: China thinks long-term, strategically, decades in advance. Is America just caught up on the latest fires here and there? And we are not thinking long-term, strategically? And, as a result, China will surpass us?

Antony Blinken: What I’ve found looking at our own history, is that when we’ve confronted a significant challenge, significant competition– significant adversity, we’ve managed to come together and actually do the long-term thinking, the long-term investment. And that is really the moment we’re in now, and that’s the test that I think we’re facing. Are we actually going to rise to it? I– President Biden believes we are.

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