The top diplomat added that a result of that failure was that the virus got “out of hand, faster and with, I think, much more egregious results than it might otherwise.” He did not answer whether he believes China knows the origins of Covid-19 and is withholding that information.
China on Thursday stressed the importance of Taiwan to China and warned the US not to “play with fire” and “cross the line” when it comes to the relationship with the self-ruled island.
Blinken said Sunday the US stands behind its commitment to Taiwan to make sure it can defend itself as Beijing increases its aggressive tactics.
“All I can tell you is, it would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force,” he said when asked if the US is prepared to defend Taiwan militarily. Asked if that meant the US will respond with military force, Blinken said he would not get into hypotheticals and reiterated the country’s commitment to Taiwan.
Tensions over Taiwan have been heating up in recent months as Taipei has garnered support from the US in the form of new military hardware, an agreement between the US and Taiwanese coast guards, and strong statements of support from the Biden administration.
Russia and Ukraine
“The question is, ‘is Russia going to continue to act aggressively and recklessly?’ If it does, the President’s been clear, there’ll be costs, there’ll be consequences,” he said.
Blinken also said the US has a “significant responsibility,” to get the world vaccinated, saying that the US will be a leader in that effort when it’s all said and done.
“Unless and until the vast majority of people in the world are vaccinated, it’s still going to be a problem for us, because as long as the virus is replicating somewhere, it could be mutating and that it could be coming back to us but similarly, the world has a very strong interest in making sure that we’re vaccinated,” he said. “Because the same thing applies, if the vaccine, if the virus is replicating here and mutating here that’s going to be a problem for the rest of world.”
CNN’s Brad Lendon contributed to this report.