China acting ‘more aggressively abroad’
Blinken joins G7 meeting in person
LONDON, May 3: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that aired on Sunday that China had recently acted "more aggressively abroad" and was behaving "increasingly in adversarial ways."
Asked by CBS News' "60 Minutes" if Washington was heading toward a military confrontation with Beijing, Blinken 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." He added: "What we've witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. That is a fact."
Blinken on Monday opened the Group of Seven's first in-person talks in two years by presenting the new administration's fresh approach on North Korea, which has already denounced it. With Covid raging in India but increasingly coming under control in the West, Britain welcomed foreign ministers of the club of wealthy democracies to London discuss a post-pandemic agenda and prepare for a G7 summit in southwest England next month.
India, South Korea, South Africa and ASEAN bloc chair Brunei were invited as guests to the three days of talks, which will also address rising tensions with Russia and China as well as diplomacy to revive a nuclear accord with Iran.
Amid stringent anti-Covid measures including restrictions on movements, Blinken met separately at his hotel with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea days after President Joe Biden completed a review on North Korea policy.
"We are grateful to have this opportunity to have in-depth discussions with the US after the conclusion of your policy review," South Korean Chung Eui-yong said, as he welcomed the "very positive and open message" by Biden in his address to Congress last week.
The State Department said that Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi "shared their concerns about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes" in their meeting.
They agreed to work together along with Japan's sometime rival South Korea "towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula," a statement said.
Biden ordered an assessment of North Korea policy after his predecessor Donald Trump's unusual, highly personalised diplomacy that featured three made-for-television meetings with the totalitarian state's young leader Kim Jong Un. -AFP