Kurt Campbell Says That US-China Relations Can Co-Exist Peacefully

The Indo-Pacific coordinator of the White House National Security Council, Kurt Campbell, said on 6th June that China and the United States are putting efforts to coexist peacefully. Still, the challenges are enormous as China has become more assertive. Campbell said at the event hosted by the Asia Society think tank, Campbell said that President Biden would host a four-party summit with the leaders of Australia, India, and Japan later this year, and Washington will use this as a means to counter China.

When asked, that when he expects Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to meet for the first time and whether they will meet at the G20 summit in October, he said that he expects that they will soon do that and there will be some form of contact related to it. 

Campbell said that the challenge for the United States would be to formulate a strategy that not only provides opportunities for China but also responds to China’s measures that go against the maintenance of peace and stability. He added there might be periods of uncertainty, and there may even be periods of occasional heightened tensions. 

He said that Beijing has recently become more assertive and competing with multiple countries at the same time. This strategy is completely different from what it did in the 1990s.

Criticizing China’s treatment of US allies, Campbell remarked, “I am not sure whether they have strategic considerations for Australia to return to another diplomatic approach. Through their uncompromising approach, I see a harsh attitude.”

On the Taiwan issue, Campbell remains cautious as he stated that Washington supports the establishment of strong unofficial relations with Taiwan and believes that Taiwan should play an international role. 

He said that the US has fully recognized and understood the sensitivity of the ongoing, adding that maintain stability and peace in the Taiwan region is a “dangerous” balance. However, Campbell said that China should learn from the United States and the international community’s response to its suppression of Hong Kong’s democracy that such actions against Taiwan would be “disastrous.”

He stated that Washington hopes China will more or less realize that the Indo-Pacific region is large enough to accommodate two major powers. Campbell also said that Washington also hopes to form some kind of alliance with China on issues such as climate change, although this possibility has been “quite disappointing” in terms of the new crown epidemic.

When asked about the U.S. trade plan following the withdrawal of a trans-Pacific multilateral trade agreement during the Trump administration, Campbell added that the focus of the Biden administration this year has been domestic recovery, vaccines, and contact with allies. However, he said that the United States recognizes that it needs to reach a positive trade agenda with the entire Indo-Pacific region, surpassing any trade contacts between US Trade Representative Dai Qi and China.