The U.S. would act to protect itself should China threaten its sovereignty, U.S. President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Biden said he was committed to working with China where it could advance U.S. interests and benefit the world.
“But make no mistake about it, as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.’’
The U.S. on Sunday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which had been flying over the country for days, with a missile off the Atlantic coast of South Carolina.
Biden said had made it clear to China’s President Xi Jinping that the U.S. sought competition, not conflict.
“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.’’
“The world is faced with serious challenges.
“But in the past two years, democracies have become stronger, not weaker.
“Autocracies have grown weaker, not stronger,’’ Biden said.
He said the allies were stepping up, spending more and doing more.
And bridges were forming between partners in the Pacific and those in the Atlantic.
“And those who bet against America are learning just how wrong they are.
“It’s never a good bet to bet against America,’’ he added.