WASHINGTON, February 8. /TASS/. Washington will act to defend the United States if China takes measures that threaten the US sovereignty, US President Joe Biden said in his annual State of the Union Address to the US Congress.
"Make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did," he was quoted as saying in the transcript of the speech, released by the White House.
Biden went on to say that his country makes it clear to China that it is seeking competition, not conflict.
"Before I came to office, the story was about how the People’s Republic of China was increasing its power and America was falling in the world. Not anymore. I’ve made clear with President Xi that we seek competition, not conflict," he said.
"Let’s be clear: winning the competition with China should unite all of us. We face serious challenges across the world," Biden added.
However, the US president said he was "committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world."
"Today, we’re in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world," Biden said. "I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong. Investing in American innovation, in industries that will define the future, and that China’s government is intent on dominating."
US Defense Department Press Secretary Patrick Ryder said on February 2 that US authorities had detected and were tracking a high-altitude "reconnaissance balloon" over the continental United States. It was shot down on February 4 by the US military off the coast of South Carolina within US airspace. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his visit to China over the incident.