Biden China Tracker

by Malcolm Riddell

Biden’s First 100 Days
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'What Joe Biden Said About China in His First Speech to Joint Session of Congress'

Bloomberg

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April 29, 2021
'What Joe Biden Said About China in His First Speech to Joint Session of Congress'
'What Joe Biden Said About China in His First Speech to Joint Session of Congress'

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Biden’s First 100 Days

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BIG IDEA | “We’re in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century.”

‘President Joe Biden spent most of his speech to Congress Wednesday focused on America’s domestic priorities, from taxes to health care.’

  • ‘But sprinkled throughout were references to China, underscoring just how much he’s focused on the world’s second-biggest economy.’
  • ' "China and other countries are closing in fast." he said.  

‘ “We’re in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century,” Biden said.’

  • ‘President Xi Jinping, Biden added, is “deadly earnest” about China “becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world.” ’

‘Biden reiterated previous comments that he believes the U.S. and China can find areas of cooperation -- he cited countering climate change as an example -- and that conflict isn’t inevitable.’

‘But he vowed that the U.S. will stand its ground when it thinks U.S. or global interests are at stake.’

  • ‘ “In my discussion with President Xi, I told him that we welcome the competition – and that we are not looking for conflict."’
  • ‘ “But I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board.” ’
  • ‘ “America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technologies and intellectual property.” ’
  • ‘ “I also told President Xi that we will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo—Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe – not to start a conflict - but to prevent one.” ’
  • ‘ “And, I told him what I’ve said to many world leaders – that America won’t back away from our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to our alliances.” ’
  • ‘ “No responsible American president can remain silent when basic human rights are violated.” ’
  • ‘ “A president has to represent the essence of our country.  
  • ‘ “America is an idea – unique in the world.” ’

‘But the comments on China focused largely on economic competition.’

  • ‘Biden said China and other nations “are closing in fast” on the U.S. now that America spends only 1% of gross domestic product on research and development.’
  • ‘And he insisted that China must “play by the same rules” as other major economies, a reference he indicated extends to everything from trade to currency, industrial policy and the investment needed to combat climate change.’

NYT. ‘When Mr. Biden said “there is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason, none,” he sounded a lot like George W. Bush 20 years ago, with echoes of Donald J. Trump.’

  • ‘When he added that there was “no reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries,” he was combining two of his signature arguments: that the United States has the capability to outpace China, and his assertion that a green agenda produces jobs.’

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

CHINADebate

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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CHINADebate

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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