On a recent 60 Minutes interview with Norah O’Donnell which focused on the Biden administration’s China policy, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken talked about the United States as a defender of the rules-based international order and the importance of bringing Beijing into compliance with it.
“Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down: it is to uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to,” Blinken said. “Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and defend it.”
Now, had Blinken been speaking to an actual journalist, he would have been asked in what specific ways defending “the rules-based order” against China would differ from trying to contain China and keep it down. He would have also been asked what business a nation that has killed millions and displaced tens of millions in illegal wars just since the turn of this century while deliberately starving civilians to death with sanctions and blockades has proclaiming itself the defender of any “rules-based order”.
But Blinken was not talking to a journalist. Blinken was talking to Norah O’Donnell.
O’Donnell’s interview with Blinken was a perfect illustration of the fact that modern mainstream reporters are only allowed to ask confrontational foreign policy questions of US officials when demanding to know why they aren’t being more hawkish and aggressive. Here are some of the questions Blinken was asked during the interview:
“I know you say the goal is not to contain China, but have you ever seen China be so assertive or aggressive militarily?”
“Do you think we’re heading toward some sort of military confrontation with China?”
“Let’s talk about human rights. Describe what you see is happening in Xinjiang that maybe the rest of the world doesn’t.”
“If Xinjiang isn’t a red line with China, then what is?”
“The Chinese have stolen hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of trade secrets and intellectual property from the United States. That sounds like the actions of an enemy.”
“And so did President Biden tell President Xi to cut it out?”
“China thinks long term,