The flags of the USA and China stand behind a microphone awaiting the arrival of the then U.S. Senator John McCain before a press conference at the United States Embassy in Beijing on April 9, 2009.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
BEIJING — The US and China can coexist peacefully, and that the relationship should not be seen as a “new cold war,” said Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific.
“There will be periods of uncertainty — perhaps even periods of occasional heightened tensions,” he said Tuesday, according to a press release about his comments at an Asia Society event.
“Do I believe that China and the United States can coexist peacefully? Yes, I do,” Campbell said. “But I do think that this challenge is going to be extremely difficult for this generation and the next.”
Since US President Joe Biden took office in January, his administration has maintained the hardline stance of the previous Trump administration. Biden has called China the “most serious competitor” of the US.
On the controversial issue of Taiwan, Campbell reiterated that the Biden administration does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, in line with the One China Policy.
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has been more aggressive in asserting its claims to Taiwan, pressuring other countries and international organizations not to act independently with the region.
Campbell added Tuesday that the US is “quietly examining” trade initiatives in Asia.
While domestic recovery in the US from the coronavirus pandemic remained the government’s priority, “for the first time in our history, the Indo-Pacific will be the center of our regional focus,” Campbell said.