Biden China Tracker

by Malcolm Riddell

G7 to D10
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'NATO & China's Challenges to Europe'

Center for Strategic and International Studies

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Pierre Morcos | Center for Strategic and International Studies
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June 9, 2021
'NATO & China's Challenges to Europe'
'NATO & China's Challenges to Europe'
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Pierre Morcos | Center for Strategic and International Studies

G7 to D10

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BIG IDEA | ‘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.’

‘As NATO leaders gathered in London in December 2019, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made repeated calls on the need for the alliance to adapt to a new challenge for NATO: China.’

  • ‘ “We have to address the fact that China is coming closer to us” in Africa, in the Arctic, in the cyberspace, and even in Europe, he notably stressed to support his case.’
  • ‘Allies agreed in London to mention China for the first time in a NATO declaration, underlying that “China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance.” ’

‘Two years later, NATO has not clarified yet its strategy toward China, and its “pivot” to China remains ill-defined.’

  • ‘As NATO leaders meet on June 14 in Brussels, will they begin to formulate a NATO China policy?’

‘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.’

  • ‘Chinese investments in critical infrastructure across Europe, from telecommunications networks to port facilities, could weaken NATO’s ability to respond to international crises diplomatically and, if necessary, militarily.’
  • ‘China’s majority ownership positions in about 10 percent of all European port capacity and its investments in civilian roads and rails in Eastern Europe potentially complicate NATO’s military mobility and readiness in a crisis situation.’
  • ‘Similarly, if some allies include Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, questions about the integrity of their telecommunications would be raised given the close ties of the company with the Chinese Communist Party.’
  • ‘Sensitive defense supply chains of allies can also be overly dependent on China, as recently witnessed with the F-35 fighter jets.’

‘China’s military reach is also getting closer to the Euro-Atlantic region.’

  • ‘The Russian and Chinese navies have conducted joint military exercises in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, signaling a burgeoning military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.’
  • ‘Collaboration between China and Russia grows stronger in the Arctic, where both countries invest in natural gas projects as well as in transport corridors as part of an effort known as the “Polar Silk Road” or the “Northern Sea Route.” ’

‘Beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, China is developing modern military capabilities (long-range missiles, aircraft carriers, and nuclear attack submarines) with potentially serious security implications for NATO given their global reach.’

  • ‘Likewise, China is investing in counterspace weapons that could potentially threaten any NATO satellite.’
  • ‘Allies are also regularly the targets of cyberattacks originating from China-based hackers.’

‘Allies have faced an increasingly assertive Chinese foreign policy as well.

  • ‘Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Beijing has notably intensified its disinformation efforts directly targeting NATO countries.’
  • ‘Beijing has also tried to leverage its close economic ties with some NATO countries through the Belt and Road Initiative to erode allies’ cohesion and unity in an effort to impede criticism of Beijing’s human rights violations and its violations of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.’
  • ‘China actively exploits bilateral ties to impede unified positions within the European Union, making it a very easy step to diminish joint positions at NATO on issues contrary to Chinese interests.’

‘This dimension of the China challenge underscores the importance of NATO’s political cohesion toward Beijing.’

  • ‘That said, one major stumbling block is the ability of NATO to define a strategy toward China due to lack of needed political cohesion on this issue, even though there is growing convergence between the United States and Europe on how to deal with China.’

‘The multifaceted security challenges posed by China have been factored in the process leading up to an updated strategic concept, known as NATO 2030.’

  • ‘Senior experts appointed by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to think through future challenges to the alliance noted that “NATO must devote much more time, political resources and action to the security challenges posed by China.” ’
  • ‘NATO 2030 will be a central component of the June 14 summit and a proposed updated concept will offer an opportunity for allies to agree on the broad lines of a China policy for NATO.’

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
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Biden Doctrine
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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.
7/15/2021

The Economist

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Biden Doctrine
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'What's Wrong with Biden’s new China doctrine'

‘Mr Biden’s aides invariably start any discussion of China strategy with the need to restore American greatness after decades of decline.’
7/15/2021

The Economist

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Biden Doctrine
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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.’
7/15/2021

The Economist

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Biden Doctrine
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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”.’
7/15/2021

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.’
6/9/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
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CHINADebate

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G7 to D10
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Biden Worries China Might Win

‘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.’
6/9/2021

The Washington Post

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Joe Biden | President of the United States
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G7 to D10
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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?’
6/9/2021

The Atlantic

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Thomas Wright | Brookings
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G7 to D10
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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

Brookings

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Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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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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Cheng Li
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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

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
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Biden’s China strategy
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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

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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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

Brookings

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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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

Brookings

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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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

Brookings

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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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

Brookings

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
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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.’
5/30/2021

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PRC

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Wang Wenbin | Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
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Biden’s First 100 Days
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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