Biden China Tracker

by Malcolm Riddell

G7 to D10
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'From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening democratic cooperation for today's challenges'

The Atlantic Council

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June 9, 2021
'From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening democratic cooperation for today's challenges'
'From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening democratic cooperation for today's challenges'
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G7 to D10

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BIG IDEA | ‘A “Democratic-10” or “D-10” is aimed at rallying the world’s most powerful democracies around a common cause— advancing a rules-based democratic order based on shared values and common interests.’

‘With the rules-based democratic order under threat, leading democracies need to develop common strategic approaches that pool their collective influence to confront today’s challenges.’

  • ‘While the concept of a “D-10”—aimed at fostering strategic alignment and coordinated action among a group of like-minded, influential democracies to advance a rules-based democratic order was developed more than a decade ago, it has recently risen to the top of the global agenda and has garnered widespread interest.’

‘The United Kingdom signaled its support for the D-10 construct in May 2020, as a club of democracies initially focused on fifth-generation (5G) technology coordination.’

  • ‘Last fall, Prime Minister Johnson extended invitations to the leaders of Australia, India, and South Korea, with the apparent intention to expand the G7 into a new D-10.’
  • ‘However, these plans were scaled back when certain governments, including Japan, Germany, France, and Italy, reportedly expressed concerns about reshaping the G7.’
  • ‘Still, the UK has moved forward with plans to bring together the three additional countries, as well as South Africa, as “guests” at the G7 Summit, and the group will reportedly issue a new “Open Societies Charter” reflecting support for common principles.’

‘To succeed in this new era of strategic competition, leading democracies need to leverage their collective capabilities and influence to defend against autocratic challengers.’

  • ‘Stronger coordination among nations that share common values and interests is key to an effectively managed global order.’
  • ‘To this end, a new D-10 can serve to foster strategic alignment and coordinated action among a group of like-minded, influential democracies to advance a rules-based democratic order.’

‘The D-10 would provide a standing framework for consultation at the strategic level, facilitating collaboration on the most important challenges facing the global order.’

  • ‘It can serve to drive a common approach to counter the wide range of autocratic threats posed by Russia and China. It can forge a technology initiative to develop common norms, standards, and resilient supply chains for advanced technologies.’
  • ‘It can provide a channel for rebuilding democratic commitments to free and fair trade, and a new climate initiative to collectively advance green technologies.’
  • ‘A D-10 can organize collective strategies to counter authoritarianism and advance democratic governance.’
  • ‘And it can facilitate a common approach to nuclear proliferation by Iran and North Korea, and coordinate defense strategies and military investments across the free world.’

‘More broadly, the D-10 could focus on facilitating a consensus on strategic priorities and longer-term objectives, and better ways to align resources, allocate responsibilities, and address gaps in collective capabilities among D-10 states.’

  • ‘It could also serve as a core group for broader coalitions of nations on specific issues, and as a consultative platform to quietly align positions and shape agendas in other multilateral venues, including the UN.’

‘The benefits of a D-10 are threefold.’

  1. ‘First, it would provide a mechanism for strategic coordination among leading democracies across the globe. In addition to serving as a consultative body, it would provide an impetus for joint decision-making and coordinated action to address today’s challenges.’
  2. ‘Second, it would reinforce the virtues of democratic solidarity, making clear to friends and foes alike the democratic world is united in its determination to uphold a rules-based democratic order.’
  3. ‘Finally, it would serve as a signal to domestic audiences, highlighting the need to stand together with democratic allies and partners to defend shared values and advance common interests.’

‘The D-10 is not intended as a security alliance or an alternative to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, nor is it directed at confronting or containing China or any other nation.’

  • ‘Rather, it is aimed at rallying the world’s most powerful democracies around a common cause— advancing a rules-based democratic order based on shared values and common interests.’
  • ‘The overarching strategic challenge facing the United States and other democracies is whether they can preserve a rules-based democratic order that reflects these values, or “whether the world will slip back toward a state in which illiberal regimes and coercive practices are ascendant.” ’

Read the full 30-page proposal.

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The Biden Doctrine and Its Discontents

President Biden has framed China as a threat both to the U.S. and the liberal world order.
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‘Mr Biden’s aides invariably start any discussion of China strategy with the need to restore American greatness after decades of decline.’
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The Economist

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Part 2 | Joe Biden is determined that China should not displace America

‘Mr Biden’s aides invariably start any discussion of China strategy with the need to restore American greatness after decades of decline.’
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The Economist

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Part 1 | 'Joe Biden is determined that China should not displace America'

‘Biden’s emerging China strategy, while still protean, sounds of a kind with Mr Doshi’s prescription for “blunting and building”.’
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Center for Strategic and International Studies

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Pierre Morcos | Center for Strategic and International Studies
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G7 to D10
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'NATO & China's Challenges to Europe'

‘Even though China does not pose a direct military threat to NATO, contrary to Russia or terrorist groups, Beijing’s growing economic influence and diplomatic assertiveness in Europe coupled with its growing military relationship with Russia do have major implications for the transatlantic economy as well as its security.’
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‘Biden has taken the vital first step of correctly diagnosing the strategic challenge facing the country.’ ‘Like Harry Truman at the start of the Cold War and George H. W. Bush at its end, the president now has an opportunity to create a framework for a new era.’
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The Washington Post

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Joe Biden: 'My trip to Europe is about America rallying the world’s democracies'

‘This is a defining question of our time: Can democracies come together to deliver real results for our people in a rapidly changing world?’
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The Atlantic

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Thomas Wright | Brookings
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'Joe Biden Worries That China Might Win'

‘Biden worries that China is in competition for America, and not only that—they might win. This belief underpins the Biden doctrine.’
6/9/2021

The Atlantic Council

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G7 to D10
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'From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening democratic cooperation for today's challenges'

‘A “Democratic-10” or “D-10” is aimed at rallying the world’s most powerful democracies around a common cause— advancing a rules-based democratic order based on shared values and common interests.’
6/9/2021

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Postscript: China Doubts U.S. Allies Support

'Chinese leadership is also cynical about the effectiveness of a U.S.-led Cold War-style bloc.’
5/30/2021

Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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China's ‘Anti-Hegemonist Bloc’

‘To counter U.S. coalition building, China has enhanced its diplomatic, economic, and military relationship with both Russia and Iran in recent months, resulting in the closest ties these countries have had in the post-Cold War era.’
5/30/2021

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What China Thinks About Biden's China Policy

And that is what makes Cheng Li’s ‘Biden’s China strategy: Coalition-driven competition or Cold War-style confrontation?' so valuable. Cheng has decades of close relationships with China’s leaders and high officials. They trust him not to attribute their comments and so speak freely and honestly to him. Cheng is the person I rely on most to convey China’s positions.
5/30/2021

Brookings

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'Final Thoughts'

'Just as Brzezinski foresaw the two new contending blocs –– requiring greater “geostrategic skill” –– that are forming today, Kissinger has emphasized the unprecedented dangers that AI could introduce into a divided world.’
5/30/2021

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Worse for China than Trump

‘Many Chinese now believe that the Biden administration could be more detrimental to U.S.-China relations than the Trump administration.’
5/30/2021

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Cheng Li
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The Trump Legacy

‘From Beijing’s perspective, the hawkish approach to China in the final year of the Trump administration revealed that the Trump team sought to defeat and destroy China in much the same way that the United States defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War.’
5/30/2021

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'Biden’s China strategy: Coalition-driven competition or Cold War-style confrontation?'

‘Senior officials on the foreign policy team have frequently emphasized three “C” words: competition, cooperation, and confrontation.’
5/30/2021

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Biden’s ‘Anti-China Bloc’

‘Throughout President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, his administration has largely continued the Trump administration’s hawkish approach toward China.’ ‘President Biden has also made international coalition building to confront the growing power and influence of China his primary foreign policy initiative.’ ‘Chinese leaders and the public are not convinced by the statements recently made by President Biden that these U.S.-led alliances are “not anti-Chinese” and that the United States is “not looking for confrontation” with China.’
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PRC

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Wang Wenbin | Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
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'China's Response to Biden's Speech'

‘It is natural for the two sides to have competition in some fields, but we should advocate fair competition, like competing with each other for excellence in a racing field, not beating each other on a wrestling arena.’
4/29/2021