Washington must preserve its leadership “from a position of strength,” the US Secretary of State has claimed
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that the world is transitioning to a new diplomatic order in which Washington must lead the way in overcoming increasing threats from Russia and China by working with its allies to build trust among nations for whom the old system failed.
“One era is ending, a new one is beginning, and the decisions that we make now will shape the future for decades to come,” Blinken said on Wednesday in a speech at John Hopkins University in Washington. He said the “post-Cold War order” ended as “decades of relative geopolitical stability have given way to an intensifying competition with authoritarian powers.”
Namely, those powers are led by Russia and China, Blinken said, adding that “Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine is the most immediate, the most acute threat to the international order.” China poses the biggest long-term challenge, he claimed, because it aspires to reshape the international order and is developing the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do so.
“Beijing and Moscow are working together to make the world safe for autocracy through their ‘no limits’ partnership,” Blinken argued. He claimed that Russia and China have framed the existing order as a “Western imposition,” but that system is anchored in universal values and enshrined in international law. Ironically, he also accused the two rivals of believing that big countries can “dictate their choices to others,” a charge that is increasingly made against Washington.
“When the Beijings and Moscows of the world try to rewrite – or rip down – the pillars of the multilateral system, when they falsely claim that the order exists merely to advance the interests of the West at the expense of the rest, a growing global chorus of nations and people will stand up to say, ‘No, the system you are trying to change is our system. It serves our interests,’” Blinken claimed.
Blinken suggested that the US will lead “from a position of strength” largely because of its “humility.” He added, “We know we will have to earn the trust of a number of countries and citizens for whom the old order failed to deliver on many of its promises.”
Alliances will be key to Washington’s success, Blinken said. He claimed that just a few years after the capabilities and relevance of NATO were openly questioned, the Western military block has become “bigger, stronger, more united than ever.”
The Russia-Ukraine conflict proved that “an attack on the international order anywhere will hurt people everywhere,” Blinken said. He added that the US aims to ensure that Ukraine defeats Russia and emerges from the conflict as a “vibrant and prosperous democracy.”