Merkley Statement on Secretary of State Blinken’s China Speech

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, the Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, released the following statement after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a major speech on the Biden administration’s China policy:

“Competition with China is not for competition’s sake. We have to compete effectively with China because it’s become increasingly clear we have very different visions – for whether the world should be safer for democracy or authoritarianism, for whether to prioritize inalienable rights or the power of the state, and for whether the strong can bully the weak. We have no choice but to compete because the world of Xi Jinping’s vision would be unacceptable.

“President Biden’s strategy recognizes that this competition must be rooted not in a naive expectation that we can change China’s government, but in the confidence that a strong America will be best able to defend its values and protect its interests. This starts at home in revitalizing the sources of America’s strength – our democracy, innovative economy, and openness to ideas and people from all corners of the globe. Internationally, our greatest asset lies in the strength in numbers offered by our alignment with other defenders of freedom. I look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration to invest in these pillars, make clear the human stakes of this competition, and responsibly manage this complicated relationship so competition does not spiral into conflict.”