WASHINGTON—When much of the global focus is on Russia’s war with Ukraine, the Biden administration is preparing to refresh the message that the U.S. sees China, not Russia, as its biggest geopolitical rival.
More than 18 months into the Biden presidency, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had been scheduled to give a speech on Thursday to address the administration’s plan to deal with China. However, the State Department said Wednesday afternoon that Mr. Blinken had tested positive for Covid-19 and Thursday’s speech would be postponed to a later date.
According to foreign-policy experts who consult with the administration, the speech is unlikely to offer an approach different from what the White House has outlined during the past year—that is, working with allies to confront and compete with China, while establishing “guardrails” to prevent the competition from becoming outright hostile.
The speech will take place against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—a crisis that the foreign-policy experts say has distracted the administration and its partners from managing relations with Beijing and sparked debate about how to handle simultaneous challenges from Moscow and Beijing.