By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - China is increasingly "undermining" the international order, but the US will continue to seek cooperation with Beijing "wherever we can" while standing up for the rules-based order, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.
"We stand ready to increase our direct communication with Beijing across a full range of issues," the top diplomat said while addressing the Asia Society at George Washington University.
"And we hope that that can happen. But we cannot rely on Beijing change its trajectory. So we will shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision for an open, inclusive international system," Blinken added.
The top diplomat said there is "growing convergence" within the international community "about the need to approach relations with Beijing with more realism," and said Washington would seek to lead a bloc of nations to meet the "long-term challenge to the international order" posed by China.
"We are not looking for conflict or a new Cold War to the contrary, we're determined to avoid both," he said.
"Even as we invest, align, and compete, we will work together with Beijing where our interests overlap. We can’t let the disagreements that divide us stop us from moving forward on the priorities that demand we work together, for the good of our people and the world," he added.