U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged rising tension with China on Sunday.
He was asked on 60 Minutes whether the two countries were heading toward military conflict.
"It's profoundly against the interests of both China and the United States to, to get to that point, or even to head in that direction... What we've witnessed over the last-- several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. That is a fact.”
The interview aired the same day Blinken arrived in London for a G7 foreign ministers meeting, where China tops the agenda.
Blinked said the U.S. was not trying to control China, but to protect a world order.
“Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down. It is to uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to. Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we're going to stand up and-- and defend it.”
U.S. President Joe Biden has made competition with China his administration’s top foreign policy priority.
In his first speech to Congress last week, Biden pledged to maintain a military presence in the Indo-Pacific and last month, Blinken warned it’d be a “serious mistake” for China to continue its aggression toward Taiwan.
Beijing claims the self-governed island as its own.
Taipei has complained in recent months about repeated Chinese air force missions nearby.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Blinken's interview.