Biden China Tracker

'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

1

April 28, 2021
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.’

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