Biden China Tracker

by Malcolm Riddell

The Economist

The Economist

The Economist

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

3

July 15, 2021
BIG IDEA | ‘The task of American policy is to blunt Chinese ambitions.’
‘But the details of the Biden doctrine contain much to worry about—not least that it is unlikely to work.’

‘Biden is converting Trumpian bombast into a doctrine that pits America against China, a struggle between rival political systems which, he says, can have only one winner.’

  • ‘Between them, Mr Trump and Mr Biden have engineered the most dramatic break in American foreign policy in the five decades since Richard Nixon went to China.’

‘Mr Biden and his team base their doctrine on the belief that China is “less interested in coexistence and more interested in dominance”.’

‘The task of American policy is to blunt Chinese ambitions.’

  • ‘America will work with China in areas of common interest, like climate change, but counter its ambitions elsewhere.’
  • ‘That means building up the strength at home and working abroad with allies that can supplement its economic, technological, diplomatic, military and moral heft.’

‘Much about Mr Biden’s new doctrine makes sense.’

  • ‘The optimistic case for engagement has crumbled under the realities of Chinese power.’
  • ‘Led by President Xi Jinping, China has garrisoned the South China Sea, imposed party rule on Hong Kong, threatened Taiwan, skirmished with India and has tried to subvert Western values in international bodies.’
  • ‘Many countries are alarmed by China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy.’

‘But the details of the Biden doctrine contain much to worry about—not least that it is unlikely to work.’

‘One problem is how Mr Biden defines the threat.’

  • Because politics in Washington is broken, he seems to feel that he needs the spirit of Pearl Harbour to help rekindle a sense of national purpose. That is a miscalculation.’

‘The more Mr Biden uses strident rhetoric to galvanise Americans, the harder he makes his task of galvanising allies and big emerging powers like India and Indonesia.’

  • ‘By framing the relationship as a zero-sum contest, he is presenting them with a Manichean struggle between democracy and autocracy, rather than the search for co-existence.’

‘Alas, in this he is overestimating America’s influence and underestimating how much potential allies have to lose by turning their back on China.’

  • ‘If forced to choose between the superpowers, some may pick China.’

‘Rather than imposing a decision on other countries today, Mr Biden needs to win them around.’

  • ‘And his best chance of that is for America to demonstrate that it can thrive at home and be the leader of a successful and open world economy.’

‘Here, too, the details of Mr Biden’s scheme are troubling.’

  • ‘Rather than build on America’s strengths as the champion of global rules, the administration is using the threat of China to further its domestic agenda.’
  • ‘Its doctrine is full of industrial policy, government intervention, planning and controls.’
  • ‘It is uncomfortably like the decoupling being pursued by China itself.’

‘A more fundamental problem is the China doctrine’s soft protectionism.’

  • ‘This favours incumbents over competitors and is likely to weigh down the economy rather than supercharge it.’

‘A third problem is that Mr Biden’s doctrine will make America’s allies even more wary.’

  • ‘If the purpose of cutting ties with China is to create good union jobs in America, allies will ask themselves what is in it for them.’

‘Mr Biden’s plan is a missed opportunity.’

  • ‘If America wants to stop China from rebuilding the global order in its image, it should defend the sort of globalisation that always served it well.’
  • ‘At the centre of such an approach would be trade and the multilateral system, embodying the faith that openness and the free flow of ideas will create an edge in innovation.’

‘It should also put money and clout behind new ideas that reinforce the Western order, such as a vaccine programme for future pandemics, digital payment systems, cyber-security and an infrastructure scheme to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.’

  • ‘Rather than copying China’s techno-nationalism, a more confident America should affirm what made the West strong.’

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Biden China Tracker

Biden Doctrine

0

The Biden Doctrine and Its Discontents

President Biden has framed China as a threat both to the U.S. and the liberal world order.
Malcolm Riddell
Founder of CHINADebate
7/15/2021

The Economist

CHINADebate

Biden China Tracker

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

Biden China Tracker

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

Biden China Tracker

Pierre Morcos | Center for Strategic and International Studies

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.’
Pierre Morcos | Center for Strategic and International Studies
6/9/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Biden China Tracker

G7 to D10

0

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.’
Malcolm Riddell
Founder of CHINADebate
6/9/2021

The Washington Post

CHINADebate

Biden China Tracker

Joe Biden | President of the United States

G7 to D10

1

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

The Atlantic

CHINADebate

Biden China Tracker

Thomas Wright | Brookings

G7 to D10

2

'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.’
Thomas Wright | Brookings
6/9/2021

The Atlantic Council

CHINADebate

Biden China Tracker

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
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