US Focused on Strengthening Alliances Around China: Ambassador Burns – EVOL

The US ambassador to China described ‘a battle of ideas’ between democracy and authoritarianism.

NEW YORK—The United States is looking to strengthen alliances with China’s neighbors in response to an increasingly aggressive and repressive regime, according to Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China.

At a moderated discussion at Manhattan’s Asia Society, the U.S. diplomat flashed back to the Clinton era, when the United States advocated for bringing China into the World Trade Organization with the assumption that integrating the communist regime into the international system would assimilate it with Western values.

“I think we’re way past that,” Mr. Burns told the audience.

If that was the political reality then, the behavior of the Chinese regime in 2024 presents a “completely different” dynamic, he said. The regime is “aggressive, dismissive of some of its neighbors,” while it has only escalated its suppression of people inside China.

“So I don’t think we’re in a period of time when we believe we can suddenly change the behavior of the [Chinese regime],” he said. “But we can change the environment.”

That entails strengthening U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific and working with the European Union “in a strategic policy together in the Indo Pacific,” while at the



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