WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that the Biden administration is aiming to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order. from China.
In a speech outlining the administration’s China policy, Blinken laid out a three-pillar approach to compete with Beijing in a race to define the 21st century’s economic and military balance.
While the US sees Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine as the most acute and immediate threat to international stability, Blinken said the administration believes China poses a greater danger.
“Even as President Putin’s war continues, we will remain focused on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order – and that is the one posed by the People’s Republic of China,” Blinken said.
“China is the only country with both the attempt to reshape the international order — and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it,” he said. “Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years.”
►The Ukrainian governor of the eastern Luhansk region says Russian bombardments killed three people in and around the city of Lysychansk, which is a key focus of fighting. In the northern Kharkiv region, Governor Oleh Synehubov said two men were killed and 10 others injured, including a 9-year-old girl, in shelling of the town of Balakliya.
►The Russian military says it has destroyed a large Ukrainian unit with equipment at a railway station in the east.
►The US will close the last avenue for Russia to pay its billions in debt to international investors on Wednesday, making Russia’s first default on its debts in more than a century all but inevitable. The Treasury Department said it does not intend to renew the license for Russia to keep paying its debtholders through American banks.
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Internet providers around the globe should continue to provide services to Russia to encourage the flow of independent information, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a briefing Wednesday.
“We urge players around the world not to disconnect Russia from the Internet, so that information continues to flow into the country, and the Internet remains free and open within Russia itself,” Price said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the West will fail in its attempts to isolate Russia and face growing economic problems.
Speaking Thursday via video link to members of the Eurasian Economic Forum, Putin said Russia wasn’t going to shut itself off from international cooperation. The forum includes several ex-Soviet nations.
Putin said that trying to isolate Russia is “impossible, utterly unrealistic in the modern world” and “those who try to do it primarily hurt themselves.”
The Russian leader cited growing economic challenges in the West, including “inflation unknown in 40 years, growing unemployment, rupture of supply chains and the worsening of global crises in such sensitive spheres as food.”
“This is not a joke,” he said. “This is a serious thing that will have an impact on the entire system of economic and political relations.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered condolences to the families of the 19 children killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
It’s “terrible to have victims of shooters in peaceful times,” Zelenskyy said while speaking at a news conference Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
“I would like to express my condolences to all of the relatives and family members of the children who were killed in an awful shooting in Texas at a school,” Zelenskyy said. “The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and all Americans.”
Authorities said a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday in Uvalde, a small community about an hour from the Mexican border.
Contributing: Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism