Biden China Tracker

by Malcolm Riddell

Biden’s China strategy
7

Postscript: China Doubts U.S. Allies Support

Brookings

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Director, Brookings Institution, John L. Thornton China Center

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May 30, 2021
Postscript: China Doubts U.S. Allies Support
Postscript: China Doubts U.S. Allies Support
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Biden’s China strategy

7

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.” ’

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
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CHINADebate

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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

CHINADebate

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Biden Doctrine
3

'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

CHINADebate

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Biden Doctrine
2

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

CHINADebate

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Biden Doctrine
1

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

CHINADebate

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Pierre Morcos | Center for Strategic and International Studies
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G7 to D10
4

'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

CHINADebate

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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

CHINADebate

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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
3

'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

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
7

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

CHINADebate

Cheng Li
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Brookings

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Biden’s China strategy
3

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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CHINADebate

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Biden’s China strategy
0

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
6

'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
5

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
4

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
1

'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
2

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

CHINADebate

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Wang Wenbin | Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
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Biden’s First 100 Days
3

'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