WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted in an interview broadcast this Sunday that the United States will not sanction China for its management of the pandemic, although the bilateral relationship is “increasingly adversarial.”
In an interview with CNN, Blinken expressed his “concern” about the report prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the origins of the virus that causes covid-19, which was identified for the first time in the Chinese city from Wuhan in December 2019.
“We have real concerns about the methodology and process used to produce the report, including the fact that the Beijing government helped to write it, but let’s wait and see what comes out in that report,” Blinken said.
Asked if there could be “repercussions” for China depending on what the report contains, the US Foreign Minister replied that “there has to be an accountability for the past,” but hinted that Washington is not interested in opening another. against sanctions against Beijing for this issue.
“I think what we should focus on is building a stronger system for the future,” Blinken stressed, referring to preparing for possible new pandemics.
Blinken, who this month held a tense meeting in Alaska with senior Chinese government officials, acknowledged that the relationship with Beijing is “increasingly adversarial,” although there are still areas where there is room for “cooperation,” such as fighting. against the climate crisis.
“The common denominator is the need to approach China from a position of strength,” so the United States is trying to strengthen its alliances in Europe and Asia, he noted in the interview, recorded during Blinken’s visit to Brussels this week.
Last Monday, the United States and Canada joined the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) against four senior Chinese officials and one entity for the “serious abuses” against the human rights of Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
This Saturday, China responded with new sanctions against three politicians from the United States and Canada and an institution dependent on the Canadian Lower House, a measure that Blinken condemned as having no “basis.”
“Beijing’s attempts to intimidate and silence those who demand human rights and fundamental freedoms only contribute to growing international scrutiny of the genocide and crimes against humanity that persist in Xinjiang,” the head of US diplomacy said in a statement to late on Saturday.