US tells China: we want competition not cooperation

Event at Washington embassy highlights difference in the two sides’ perspectives as senior Trump aide Matt Pottinger delivers blunt message

By Keegan Elmer
01 October, 2018

The United States sees its relationship with China as a competition, a senior member of the Trump administration has told Chinese diplomats at an event that highlighted the gulf between the two sides’ world views.

While Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the US, used the reception at his country’s embassy in Washington to highlight the importance of cooperation, Matt Pottinger, a senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council, made America’s intentions clear.

“In the United States, competition is not a four-letter word,” Pottinger said.

“We at the Trump administration have updated our China policy to bring the concept of competition to the forefront. It’s right there at the top of the president’s national security strategy.”