US will not push allies into 'us-or-them choice' on China: Blinken
The United States sees China as a threat to collective security, but will not force allies to choose between Beijing and Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to say Wednesday.
"But that doesn't mean countries can’t work with China where possible. The United States will. We can't afford not to -- – especially on challenges like climate change and health security," according to the transcript.
Blinken was due to say that Washington wants to work with partners to "close the gaps in areas like technology and infrastructure, which China is exploiting to exert coercive pressure."
President Joe Biden is keen to take a multilateral approach as he looks to enlist NATO allies and partners such as the European Union in a united front of democracies to challenge authoritarian China.
Washington and Brussels took a first step towards joint action against Beijing by unveiling synchronised sanctions on Monday over the crackdown on the Uyghurs in China.
But Brussels irritated Biden's team by agreeing a broad investment deal with Beijing weeks before he took office, despite Washington urging the EU to wait.
Blinken is set to hold talks later Wednesday with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, a day before Biden joins a video summit of leaders from the bloc.