The Straits Times says

US sharpening strategy towards China

New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken held back his long-awaited policy statement on China until after President Joe Biden's swing through South Korea and Japan, which culminated with an in-person summit in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue nations, seen by some as the kernel of an emerging Nato-like security arrangement in the Indo-Pacific. While the speech had conciliatory statements towards Beijing, Mr Blinken left no one in doubt about the seriousness of purpose in Washington. Early next month, Mr Blinken's Cabinet colleague, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, will likely outline the Pentagon's own approach to China at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

With an increasingly active Quad, the recently announced Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity and its emphasis on building new supply chains among partner nations with China excluded, the satellites-sharing Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness, and a raft of bilateral and multilateral defence agreements including Aukus - the China-focused security grouping that involves Australia, the United Kingdom and the US - and the steady shifting of US military assets from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific, there can be no more doubt about the containment strategy aimed at China, which Mr Blinken calls "the most serious long-term challenge to the international order".

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.