“China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law,” Blinken said at a news conference. “We’re united in the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where countries follow the rules, cooperate whenever they can, and resolve their differences peacefully. And in particular, we will push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way,” he added.
Blinken’s comments come a handful of days before he and national security advisor Jake Sullivan hold high-level, in-person talks with Chinese representatives. Blinken and Sullivan will meet with the People’s Republic of China’s Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, and Wang Yi, the foreign minister, in Alaska. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday that Beijing hopes that a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship will not harm others in the region.