US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US would engage constructively with China on climate change , arms control, global food security, and “wherever we can”. In a speech at George Washington University late on Thursday, Blinken gave the first public overview of US President Joe Biden’s China policy . “Even as we invest, align, and compete, we’ll work together with Beijing where our interests come together,” he said. The speech followed a series of meetings of Quad and Indo-Pacific leaders in Tokyo last week, moves seen as countering Beijing. Blinken said the US invited China to join a foreign ministers’ meeting on strengthening global food security at the United Nations last week of foreign ministers, and “will continue to do so”. China reportedly did not attend, a decision a US official called “disappointing but sadly not surprising”. On climate change, Blinken said there had been years of stalemate between China and the United States but also periods of progress, noting the world’s hopes were buoyed when the two countries issued the Glasgow Joint Declaration to work together last year at COP26. “Climate is not about ideology. It’s about maths. There’s simply no way to solve climate change without China’s leadership, the country that produces 28 per cent of global emissions,” he said. The International Energy Agency has said that if China sticks with its existing plan and does not peak its emissions until 2030, then the rest of the world must go to zero by 2035. “And that’s simply not possible,” Blinken said. He said it was vital that the United States and China – the world’s two biggest emitters – made progress together to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. Quad leaders vow to oppose all attempts to ‘change status quo by force’ On the Covid-19 pandemic, Blinken said “our hearts go out to the Chinese people as they deal with this latest wave”. Several cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have been battling outbreaks of the Omicron variant. Calling for transparency in sharing data and samples, Blinken said all countries needed to work together to vaccinate the world – “not in exchange for favours or political concessions, but for the simple reason that no country will be safe until all are safe”. Cooperation was also necessary to address Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programmes. “And we remain ready to discuss directly with Beijing our respective responsibilities as nuclear powers,” he said. Blinken also suggested cooperation to tackle illegal and illicit narcotics, as well as global food security. He said global macroeconomic coordination between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, was key through venues such as the G20, the IMF, and bilaterally. “In short, we’ll engage constructively with China wherever we can,” Blinken said. He said the world expected great powers to work together to solve great challenges but the cooperation would never be in exchange for walking away from the US’ principles. “No country should withhold progress on existential transnational issues because of bilateral differences,” he said.