WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an event for the McCain Institute at Arizona State University, Coordinator for Strategic Communications for the White House’s National Security Council John Kirby discussed with McCain Institute Media Fellow and White House Correspondent for Gray Television John Decker the challenge China poses to the United States and its allies, alleged Russian atrocities in the Ukraine war, as well as energy, food, and climate security. The interview took place just days before the upcoming G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.
Read below five key takeaways from the conversation and view the full event here:
Five Takeaways from “A McCain Institute Conversation with John Kirby Ahead of the G7 Summit”
- The United States continues its unwavering support of Ukraine.
- “I do think you’ll see that the United States is going to demonstrably continue to lead and to be in support of Ukraine … this is about independence. If there is any founding ideal that matters to Americans … it’s this idea of independence and freedom. And that is exactly what Ukraine is fighting for, their right to exist as a country. So, at our very core that’s something we can all understand and get behind.” – John Kirby
- President Biden wants to keep lines of communication open with China.
- “We do not seek a conflict with China, and there is no reason for tensions to devolve into any kind of conflict, that’s why we want to keep the lines of communication open. You saw that National Security advisor Jake Sullivan had a chance last week to meet in Vienna with his counterparts from the PRC – good, constructive, candid conversations. Did they agree on everything? Of course not, we don’t agree on everything with the PRC but the fact that we can have those conversations is a good step. And we want to keep those lines of communication open.” – John Kirby
- The strategic power competition with China is on the G7 summit agenda.
- “The economic component of [China’s] relationship is in many ways a competition and we’ve got to make sure we can compete, which means you got to make sure the playing field is level or as level as possible. China doesn’t play fair in economics, and there is intellectual theft and coercion – using economic levels by almost weaponizing them and affecting the economic security of not only that region but of the world … so I know the G7 leaders are going to talk quite a bit about the PRC relationship from an economic perspective.” – John Kirby
- Iran is still a destabilizing factor in the Middle East.
- “Just in the last couple of weeks, [Iran] has really stepped up their attacks on maritime shipping and you’ve heard [the Biden administration] talk about this last week, that the United States in response to that we’re going to make some forced posture changes in the Persian Gulf as we need to, to address this increased threat to maritime shipping because that not only is a security threat, that is an economic threat that Iran’s posing to the region and to the world. Iran still continues to develop a sophisticated ballistic missile capability that again we worry if that were ever to find its way over to Russia and Russia’s ability to fight this war in Ukraine … it goes on and on and we’re not blind to that.” – John Kirby
- Finding clean energy alternatives is a priority for the United States.
- “[President Biden] believes there is enough energy and innovation and determination in the U.S. to move on [a transition to clean energy solutions] and be the world leader … he wants the United States to be the beginning of the supply chain and not the end of it.” – John Kirby
Click HERE to view the full event.
About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
The McCain Institute is a nonpartisan organization inspired by Senator John McCain and his family’s dedication to public service. We are part of Arizona State University and based in Washington, D.C. Our programs advance democracy and human rights, empower character-driven leaders, combat human trafficking, and prevent targeted violence. Our unique power to convene leaders across the global political spectrum enables us to make a real impact on the world’s most pressing challenges. Our goal is action, not talk, and like Senator McCain, we are fighting to create a free, safe, and just world for all.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.