US will act to protect sovereignty if threatened by China: Biden

8 February, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

Joe Biden World

Notably, after a Chinese surveillance balloon was discovered over American airspace, ties between the US and China worsened.

On Tuesday (local time), US President Joe Biden emphasised the “serious difficulties” that the US faces “across the world” and issued a warning to China that Washington “will act to protect sovereignty” if it is threatened.

Biden while delivering his first major speech to a divided Congress after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, said, “If China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. Let’s be clear, winning the competition with China should unite all of us. We face serious challenges across the world. In the past two years, democracies have become stronger, not weaker.” The US President said that when he took over the charge of office, the story was about how China was increasing its power and America was falling in the world.

“Not anymore. I’ve made clear with President Xi that we seek competition, not conflict,” said Biden in his second State of the Union address at the US Capitol.

He said that the US is in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world.

“I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong. Investing in American innovation, in industries that will define the future, and that China’s government is intent on dominating. Investing in our alliances and working with our allies to protect our advanced technologies so they’re not used against us.

Modernizing our military to safeguard stability and deter aggression,” said Biden.
Biden further stated that he is committed to working with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world.

The US President also reiterated that “winning the competition with China should unite all of us,” referring to Republicans working with him, decrying “fighting for the sake of fighting” in Washington.
“Republican friends, we could work together,” he said.

“We’re often told that Democrats or Republicans can’t work together. But over the past two years, we proved the cynics and naysayers wrong,” he said, pointing to several laws passed with bipartisan support.

Notably, after a Chinese surveillance balloon was discovered over American airspace, ties between the US and China worsened.

According to The New York Times, quoting the Pentagon, China has rejected Washington’s request for a phone conference between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Beijing counterpart Wei Fenghe. Soon after a US fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, the request was made.

According to a statement sent through email from the Pentagon Press Secretary, Brigadier General Patrick S Ryder, Washington recognises the value of keeping lines of communication open with China. He said that the US had asked China to “reject” setting up a call between Lloyd Austin and Wei Fenghe.