US Secretary of State – Antony Blinken – C: U.S. Department of State

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has told British media icon, the BBC, that  “America is back.”

Speaking in what is understood to be his first international interview since taking office, Mr. Blinken spoke on a range of topics including increasing tensions with China, Iran and the global battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

US Secretary of State – Antony Blinken –
C: U.S. Department of State

On issues in the Far East, he attacked China for banning the BBC World News channel last week describing China as “one of the least open” media environments in the modern world before adding that “China uses that to spread misinformation and propaganda… I think ultimately is unsustainable and it requires countries coming together to stand up for free and open information space and we are looking at ways to do that more effectively.”

Mr. Blinken, however made no comment on a controversy earlier this week caused by US President Biden deeming the Chinese treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang a “different norm”.

No mention was made either of Taiwan, Tibet or Hong Kong during the almost four minute interview.

On the recent military coup in Myanmar, Blinken could only describe the military action and detention of the democratically elected government as “a tragic setback to what had been a historic democratic transition”. No mention was made of the death yesterday of a 20-year-old protestor shot in the head in anti-coup demonstrations earlier in the month.

Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing, 20, – the first known fatality of the anti-coup protests in Myanmar
Mr. Blinken was keen to promote the US giving around US$ 4 billion to a COVAX vaccination programme as part of the global battle against COVID-19, with does to go to 190 nations around the world in less than a year, although again made no comment on the world leading number of COVID deaths in his own backyard.
“Unless and until everyone in the world is vaccinated, then no-one is really fully safe, because if the virus is out there and continuing to proliferate, it’s also going to be mutating,” he said, closing “And if it’s mutating, it’s also going to come back and bite people everywhere.”

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