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Blinken addresses China concerns while testifying to Senate Foreign Relations panel

"We have to revitalize our alliances and partnerships; out-compete China," Blinken said Tuesday.

Updated: June 8, 2021 - 4:28pm

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday told the Senate Foreign Relations committee the Biden administration's foreign policy agenda's goals of out-competing rival China in the global economy and revitalizing worldwide "alliances and partnerships." 

"We have to revitalize our alliances and partnerships; out-compete China and defend the international rules-based order against those who seek to undermine it; renew democratic values at home and abroad; and push back against malign activity by our adversaries," Blinken testified.

Blinken also spoke about Iran's nuclear program after President Trump in 2018 pulled the U.S. out of the international Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018, in which sanctions would be lifted in exchange for Iran winding down its nuclear-enrichment program. 

"We have an immediate challenge," Blinken told New York Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. "Iran's nuclear program is galloping forward. It is enriching at higher levels, 20% even 60%. In small cases, it's using more advanced centrifuges."

Blinken also focused on China and the problems the U.S. faces in confronting the Communist Party-run country.

"As China and others work hard to bend international organizations to their worldview, we need to ensure that these organizations remain grounded in the values, principles, and rules of the road," Blinken said.

He spoke before the committee as part of his efforts this week to present President Biden's proposed fiscal 2022 budget of $58.5 billion for the State Department and USAID to the House and Senate.

The budget includes money for global health programs, which he says will be used to prepare for future health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

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