The China policy of United States President Joe Biden’s administration has finally been laid out, 16 months after it took office. But the speech in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken articulated the details and direction revealed little that was not already known. His message was that while Beijing was America’s biggest rival and competitor, Washington was willing to cooperate on areas of common interest, like climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. There was no effort to ease tense relations , nor was it explained how competing and coordinating could take place while avoiding deepening the rift. Blinken delivers ‘old content in a new context’ in China speech Describing the strategy as “invest, align, compete”, Blinken claimed Beijing was undermining the global order and that the US had to work with allies and other governments to counter rising Chinese influence. That has been apparent in recent weeks, with Biden hosting a summit in Washington with eight leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, travelling to Japan and South Korea for bilateral talks, unveiling his Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity and joining with the Japanese, Indian and Australian prime ministers for a meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). All this activity took place on China’s doorstep, with relations at their worst in decades. The US president exacerbated matters during the trip by suggesting Washington would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan . Biden’s remark overshadowed his Asian efforts, being at odds with Washington’s long-standing position that there is only one China and Taiwan is sovereign Chinese territory. Blinken reiterated that agreement and said the US did not support Taiwanese independence and expected cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means. The Chinese ambassador to the US, Qin Gang, reinforced Beijing’s position in an article in the South China Morning Post this week, calling on Washington to abide by the one-China principle and support the peaceful reunification of China. Blinken claimed Washington was not trying to change China’s political system and was “determined” to avoid confrontation and a new cold war. A call for greater cooperation on global problems was in evidence at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, with US climate change representative John Kerry saying after meeting his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua that progress was being made on forming a group to jointly fight greenhouse gas emissions. Rivalry and competition between the US and China are inevitable. But as President Xi Jinping and Biden agreed at their last video meeting, the nations have to respect one another, coexist in peace and avoid confrontation. Managing differences, maintaining dialogue and focusing on cooperation should be priorities.