State Secretary Antony Blinken is set to outline Washington's approach towards Beijing amid criticism President Biden's administration is lacking a formal strategy to handle America's main strategic rival.

China is one of the toughest diplomatic areas for US Secretary of State Blinken.
China is one of the toughest diplomatic areas for US Secretary of State Blinken. (AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will deliver a speech outlining Washington's policy towards China, the State Department has said.

Blinken will give the speech at 11 am Eastern Time (1500 GMT) at Washington's George Washington University on Thursday, at an event hosted by the Asia Society think tank, the State Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

After more than a year in office, the administration of President Joe Biden has faced criticism from Republicans and others for lacking a formal strategy for dealing with China, the world's second-largest economy and Washington's main strategic rival.

The administration announced a strategy for the Asia-Pacific in February in which it vowed to commit more diplomatic and security resources to the region to counter what it sees as China's bid to create a regional sphere of influence.

It has said it is working on a separate strategy for China, but has faced significant distractions due to Russia's offensive on Ukraine.

A source familiar with plans for the China strategy told the Reuters news agency last week that the contents covered publicly by Blinken were not expected to be very detailed and would largely be a compilation of statements the administration has already made about China.

READ MORE: US and China prepare to tackle dangerous scenarios over the Taiwan issue

Taiwan's importance

Biden is due to host leaders of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at a summit in Washington on May 12 and May 13 and he is expected to visit Asia, including South Korea and Japan, later in the month.

While US-China relations remain tense over a broad range of issues, senior US officials say that two months after warning that Beijing appeared poised to help Russia in its fight against Ukraine, they have not detected overt Chinese military and economic support – a welcome development.

Separately, the United States has held high-level talks with the UK over how they can cooperate more closely to reduce the chances of war with China over Taiwan and to explore conflict contingency plans for the first time, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell and Laura Rosenberger, the top National Security Council China official, held a meeting on Taiwan with UK representatives in early March, the newspaper said.

READ MORE: China holds military drills as US lawmakers visit Taiwan

Source: Reuters