Biden China Tracker

by Malcolm Riddell

Liu Ge: Competing with China a farfetched guise for US’ infrastructure plan

环球网 | Global Times

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Liu Ge | Chaoyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University
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April 8, 2021
Liu Ge: Competing with China a farfetched guise for US’ infrastructure plan
Liu Ge: Competing with China a farfetched guise for US’ infrastructure plan
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Liu Ge | Chaoyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University

刘戈:美国搞基建,硬拉中国当靶子太牵强

BIG IDEA | ‘Historically speaking, it seems the only way for the US government to make costly public investments was to create an adversary that is presumed to threaten its security.’
‘If there's no such enemy, make one. China appears to have become an ideal candidate in the eyes of Washington.’
essay published in Chinese & English
This essay is representative of Chinese comments on the Biden 'American Jobs Plan.' Like some of the English-language reporting, it portrays the Biden argument as countering China. It is not.

'As the US government unveils a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, President Joe Biden said that the US must put itself "in a position to win the global competition with China." ’

  • ‘At a press briefing on April 6, a White House spokesperson again stressed the importance of competing with China, saying it had support from both parties and the American people.’

‘ "It's a once-in-a generation investment in America," said Biden of the infrastructure plan.’

  • ‘It's rational for a new US administration to focus on infrastructure and try to revive the economy and boost employment at the beginning of its term.’
  • ‘However, sadly, it just could not leave China out of their internal discussions.'
  • ‘It is becoming a perpetual mindset among US politicians to use China as a catch-all guise, whether they're proposing or opposing something.’

‘Historically speaking, it seems the only way for the US government to make costly public investments was to create an adversary that is presumed to threaten its security.’

  • ‘In the 1950s and 1960s, when the US built interstate highways and launched the space program, it chose the Soviet Union as its "perfect enemy." ’

‘If there's no such enemy, make one.’

  • ‘China appears to have become an ideal candidate in the eyes of Washington.’

‘However, making up imaginary enemies, from another perspective, has forecasted the futile outcome of Biden's plan, just like those of his two predecessors.’

  • ‘Even the most anti-China politicians and media outlets know clearly that China is not the Soviet Union and not an enemy that poses threats to the security of the US, but a strong competitor economically.’

‘The logic of using competition with China as a reason to increase taxes to enhance infrastructure is as farfetched as a student asking for a sports car so he/she can get better grades.’

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

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

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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.’
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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.
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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.’
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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.’
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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.’
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Cheng Li
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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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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.’
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