In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, US President Joe Biden said the US would act for security if Beijing threatened its sovereignty. His comments against Beijing come amid rising tensions with China over suspected surveillance balloons. The US military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean last week, drawing a strong reaction from China which on Sunday warned of repercussions if America used force against its civilian unmanned airship.
The US has accused China of violating American sovereignty and international law.
“I remain committed to working with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world. But make no mistake: As we made clear last week, if China were to threaten our sovereignty If so, we will act to protect our country. And we did.” Biden insisted.
“Let’s be clear: winning the contest with China should unite us all. We face serious challenges around the world. But over the past two years, democracies have grown stronger, not weaker,” he said in his second speech to the union. Addressed before a joint session of the US Congress.
In his speech, which revolved around the theme of unity, Biden said that two years into his administration, autocracy has weakened, not strengthened.
In his address three months after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, he said, “America is uniting the world again to confront the challenges they face, from climate and global health to food insecurity, terrorism and regional aggression.” “
“Allies are growing, spending more and doing more. And bridges are being built between partners across the Pacific and the Atlantic. And those who bet against America are learning how wrong they have been. America Betting against is never a good bet.” Biden said.
China remained at the center of Biden’s speech
Referring to China a dozen times in his speech, Biden said that before taking office, the story was about how China was increasing its power and America was falling in the world.
“Not anymore. I’ve made it clear with President Xi (Jinping) that we want competition, not conflict,” Biden said amid thunderous applause.
“I have no regrets that we are investing in making America stronger. Investing in American innovation, in the industries that will define the future, and that the Chinese government intends to dominate. Investing in our alliances and working with our allies to protect our advanced technologies so they are not used against us,” he said.
“Our military is being modernized to protect stability and deter aggression. Today, we are in the strongest position we have been in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world,” he said.
(with PTI inputs)
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