Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Ambassador to China Max Baucus, Press Roundtable, Lost Heaven Restaurant, Beijing, China | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in China
“Press: I have three questions. The first is, the Obama administration has continued saying that the United States, not China which is not a party to the TPP, will write the rules of the global economy — for Beijing and other countries too. So, is the conclusion of the TPP intended to encircle and contain China? And is it part of the U.S. pivot to Asia strategy?
And the second question is, what is your comment on the outcomes of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S., and what’s your comment on the biggest achievement of his visit? And what’s your comment on the future of the China-U.S. relationship?
Deputy Secretary Blinken: Thank you very much.
Press: And my third question is, you know China is taking a more active role in global affairs, such as setting up the AIIB and the proposal of the One Belt, One Road initiative. I’d like to know what’s the U.S. attitude towards that?
Deputy Secretary Blinken: Thank you very much. A lot of good questions there.
First, with regard to TPP. It’s very simple. It is not designed to contain China or encircle China in any fashion. To the contrary, we would welcome China’s participation in TPP if it is willing to meet the standards that are established in the agreement. And TPP offers I think tremendous potential to further expand trade and investment and that, in turn, can fuel growth, which fuels jobs, and it will be very good for the countries involved. But it’s doing it in a way that meets the highest standards when it comes to protecting workers, protecting the environment, protecting intellectual property, having transparency. In other words, it’s what we would call a race to the top, not a race to the bottom.
And any countries in the region that want to be a part of it and are able to meet these standards would be welcome, and certainly if China decides that it’s interested in TPP, we would welcome that, and we would certainly pursue those conversations.
More broadly, I have to say that I know that there are people who think that our policies somehow are to contain or hold back China, and I must tell you it’s exactly the contrary. We have a profound stake in a successful, prosperous China. And not only from an economic perspective because we’re so connected and we want China and, indeed we need China, to succeed. But it also makes sense for the United States to enlist China to play a role in the world commensurate with its significant power and influence because there are too many problems and challenges for any one country to tackle alone, and the United States and China have demonstrated that when they work together they can lead the world in a positive direction.
The best example of that recently is climate change. So that’s our general approach.
When it comes to outcomes of President Xi’s visit, again I would say that what we’ve seen the visit underscore was what we’ve been trying to do together which is deepen and broaden our cooperation. So, if you look at what we’ve done just in the last year, some of which came to fruition during the visit. As I said, leading together on climate change, and during the visit we advanced that effort as well. The work that we are doing together for example in Afghanistan, where the United States and China together are trying to play a role in advancing reconciliation in Afghanistan, training Afghan diplomats together. We’re doing a lot.
We’ve worked together to fight the scourge of Ebola. That’s significant. We were partners in the effort to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and the agreement that resulted from there. And all of those things I think were underscored during the visit. We’re working on a bilateral investment treaty that can be very significant.
So, I think the visit highlighted those areas of cooperation and others that demonstrate to our own citizens, to Chinese citizens, and people around the world that when we work together in a cooperative way we can produce results.”
David Lindsay: Tony Blinken keeps repeating the same good talking points on the TPP, without explaining how any one them might actually work. This PR is not that impressive, unless, it was all too new what would work and what wouldn’t.