Unfair Trade Practices, Indo-Pacific, Human Rights: China Dominates Foreign Affairs Part Of Biden's First Address To US Congress
United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday (28 April) said that the US was in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century.
Addressing the join session of the US Congress, Biden said that Chinese President Xi Jinping was “deadly earnest about [China] becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world".
"He and others – autocrats – think that democracy can’t compete in the 21st century with autocracies, because it takes too long to get consensus,” Biden said in his maiden address to the Congress, appearing to veer off script, according to prepared remarks circulated by the White House before the speech, reports South China Morning Post.
Emphasising that the US was falling behind the rest of the world on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, Biden said that the country needs to invest more on the research and development.
"China and other countries are closing in fast," he said, adding that the US must develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future including advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, and clean energy.
China figured prominently in the foreign affairs part of the Biden's speech.
Biden said that in his discussion with President Xi, he told the latter that US welcomes the competition and was not "looking for conflict".
"But I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board," Biden said.
"America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technologies and intellectual property," he said referring to China.
In another move to challenge Chinese dominance in the Indo-Pacific, Biden also vowed to maintain strong military presence in the region.
"We will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe – not to start conflict – but to prevent conflict," Biden said.
Further attacking China, the US President said that America will keep on pushing for "human rights and fundamental freedoms", an apparent reference to the persecution of Uyghur minorities in the China's Xinjiang province by the Chinese communist regime.
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