Biden China Tracker

'Biden's Speech Calls for U.S. to Take On China and Russia'

The New York Times

David Sanger | The New York Times
'Biden's Speech Calls for U.S. to Take On China and Russia'
'Biden's Speech Calls for U.S. to Take On China and Russia'
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Biden’s First 100 Days

2

April 29, 2021
BIG IDEA | ‘President Biden justified his broad vision to remake the American economy as the necessary step to survive long-run competition with China

‘President Biden justified his broad vision to remake the American economy as the necessary step to survive long-run competition with China, a foot race in which the United States must prove not only that democracies can deliver, but that it can continue to out-innovate and outproduce the world’s most successful authoritarian state.’

  • His speech to Congress was laced with the themes of a new iteration of Cold War competition — more technological than military — without ever uttering the words Cold War.’
  • ‘It was all part of Mr. Biden’s effort to lift his infrastructure and rebuilding plans to a higher plane.’

‘What is becoming clear from Mr. Biden’s first months in office — and from the Wednesday speech — is that he is pursuing very different strategies for China and Russia.’

  • ‘He is making the case that the country must compete with rising power in China, while containing a disrupter in Russia.’

‘Xi Jinping is “deadly earnest on becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world,” Mr. Biden argued.’

  • ‘Mr. Biden has made clear to his aides, in lengthy Situation Room sessions on China strategy, that his administration must finally focus the country on the existential threat of a world in which China dominates in trade and technology, and controls the flow of electrons — and the ideas they carry.’
  • ‘Even the Republicans who denounced Mr. Biden’s plan Wednesday night as “socialist dreams,” do not argue with his China analysis.’

‘In contrast, he regards Mr. Putin’s Russia as a declining power whose only real capability is to act as a disrupter — one that seeks to split NATO, undermine democracy and poke holes in the computer and communications networks that the United States, and the rest of the world, depend upon.’

  • ‘That came through in the speech.’

‘But making this twin strategy of competition and containment work, Mr. Biden acknowledged at one point, depends on persuading Americans to make the necessary investments, and convincing allies that the United States would have their backs.’

‘’Mr. Xi and President Putin, who are developing their own alliance of convenience to challenge the United States, are among those who “think that democracy can’t compete in the 21st century with autocracies, because it takes too long to get consensus.” ’

  • ‘ “We have to prove democracy still works,” Mr. Biden said, repeating a rallying call he first used a month ago, and that aides say he often invokes in White House strategy sessions.’
  • ‘ “We’re at a great inflection point in history,” Biden said.’

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