NEW DELHI: US President Joe Biden on Sunday emphasised that he does not aim to “contain” China, even as the two global powers grapple with increasing divides.
While addressing the press in Vietnam’s Hanoi, Biden disclosed that he had an unannounced meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang during the G20 summit in New Delhi, where the discussions centered around the need for “stability”.
Biden is in Vietnam to seal deals that will further strengthen ties between the two nations. The move is part of Washington’s broader strategy to reinforce its network of allies across Asia and the Pacific to counterbalance China’s growing influence in the Indo Pacific.
Tensions have been escalating between Washington and Beijing on various international issues. Biden accused China of attempting to reshape the global order to suit its own interests, particularly in the realm of trade.
The United States has been investing heavily in forging alliances as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy. This includes initiatives like the Quad security dialogue involving India, Australia, and Japan, as well as the AUKUS pact with the UK and Australia.
Do not want to contain China: Biden
However, Biden reiterated that the US is not seeking to encircle or contain China. Instead, the goal is to establish clear and transparent rules for their relationship.
“I don’t want to contain China. I just want to ensure that we have a relationship with China that is transparent, well-defined, and based on mutual understanding,” he stated.
Biden said that during the G20 summit in India, a groundbreaking new partnership was forged that will connect India, Europe and the Middle East with transportation by rail and by shipment, through energy supplies and digital connections.
“The link will increase the Global South’s capacity to grow, we are going to have a new railroad from India all the way across to the Mediterranean. Shipping lanes and pipelines across the Mediterranean through Europe, up into Great Britain and beyond. That’s all about economic growth. There is nothing to do with hurting China or helping China. It has to do with dealing with everything from climate change to making sure that these countries can succeed economically and grow,” said Biden.
The US president acknowledged that China was “beginning to change some of the rules of the game in terms of trade and other issues”, “I don’t want to contain China. I just want to make sure we have a relationship with China that is on the up and up, squared away.”
“We also discussed Russia’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine … I want to once again thank PM Modi for his leadership and his hospitality in hosting a G20,” said Biden.
(With inputs from agencies)