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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that China had started acting “more aggressively abroad” and behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.”

He told CBS News’ 60 Minutes in an interview aired Sunday that he wanted to avoid military confrontation between the two superpowers but said it was a “fact” that China had increased its aggressive behavior towards other powers in recent years.

Asked about the prospect of military confrontation, he said: “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.”

“What we’ve witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. That is a fact,” he added.

Tensions have increased significantly between the US and China in recent years, particularly after President Trump took a particularly hawkish line towards Beijing, with both powers imposing economic sanctions upon each other.

President Biden has pledged largely to continue pursuing a hawkish line towards China, with a recent meeting between Chinese and American diplomats in Alaska souring relations.

Blinken has specifically criticized China’s use of coercive measures against US allies, and said Washington views China as both an economic and security threat, particularly in the technology industry, CNBC reported. 

Blinken told CBS News that Biden and Chinese premier Xi Jinping had talked in their first phone call in February, which lasted over two hours, about “real concerns” the US had about actions China had taken.

“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,” he said.

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Source:: Business Insider


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