Biden China Tracker

Postscript: China Doubts U.S. Allies Support
Postscript: China Doubts U.S. Allies Support
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Biden’s China strategy

7

May 30, 2021
BIG IDEA | 'Chinese leadership is also cynical about the effectiveness of a U.S.-led Cold War-style bloc.’

‘Although it may seem contradictory, Chinese leadership is also cynical about the effectiveness of a U.S.-led Cold War-style bloc.’

  • ‘Beijing is keenly aware that some leaders in Europe and Asia have been critical of or have expressed reservations about Washington’s inclination to form a “Cold War-like bloc.” ’
  • ‘A few days after President Biden’s inauguration, German Chancellor Angela Merkel explicitly stated that she “would very much wish to avoid the building of blocs.” ’
  • ‘Similarly, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, known for his criticism of Beijing and his concern about China’s “systemic challenge” to Britain’s security, prosperity, and liberal values, “has warned that the UK must not get drawn into a new ‘Cold War’ with China.” ’

‘As an advisor to the top Chinese leadership recently observed, although the United States and Europe are speaking in unison on democracy and human rights as well as on the issues of Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Europeans have independent views on the imperative to cooperate with China on the economic and trade front, nuclear nonproliferation, and climate change.’

  • ‘Many European countries prefer to keep an equal distance in their relationships with Washington and Beijing.’

‘The same can be said of American allies in the Asia Pacific.’

  • ‘Although security concerns and the need for military cooperation is a primary objective of the Quad, at this point, the Quad should not be considered a military alliance or Asia’s “mini-NATO” aimed at containing China.’
  • ‘As Zhang Yun, a Chinese scholar who teaches in Japan, observed, “multilateral military alliances have never worked in the Asian region.” Japanese Prime Minister Suga explicitly expressed disapproval of an “Asian NATO.” ’
  • ‘India, with its principles of non-alliance, neutrality, and independence, and its good relationship with Russia, is unlikely to change its longstanding foreign policy posture to join a U.S.-led military alliance.’

‘From an even broader perspective, the outlook on China in many countries in Africa, South America, and Asia profoundly differs from that of the United States.’

  • ‘These countries don’t appear to see China as a security threat to world peace and don’t perceive China’s economic outreach efforts, including the Belt and Road Initiative, to be “predatory” or “debt trap” diplomacy.’
  • ‘As Joseph Nye recently observed, “nearly 100 countries count China as their largest trading partner, compared to 57 for the U.S.’
  • ‘Furthermore, China plans to lend more than $1 trillion for infrastructure projects with its Belt and Road Initiative over the next decade, while the U.S. has cut back aid.” ’

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