The 3 Essential Points of Joe Biden’s Strategy for America To Better Cope With China
During the campaign for the presidency of the United States, Joe Biden had announced the color. The policy of the United States towards China would be different from that of Donald Trump if he was elected.
Widely elected on November 3, 2020, and arrived at the White House on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden is in the process of revealing the strategy that he intends to follow so that the United States can better face the emergence of China in the years to come.
The failed trade war is over, and the time has come for the diplomacy of results with Beijing. With the help of the United States’ historical allies, and by restoring America’s economic and democratic forces, Joe Biden believes that the United States will be able to confront China from a position of strength.
Joe Biden will have the same opponent as Donald Trump, but a different strategy
Donal Trump’s presidency will at least have had the merit of targeting the real enemy of the United States for the future: China.
China remains the central challenge of American foreign policy. The recently published report “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance” and the first speech of Secretary of State Antony Blinken evoke it in the same terms:
“It is the only competitor potentially capable of combining economic, diplomatic, military and technological powers to constitute a protracted challenge to a stable and open international system.”
Antony Blinken then added that China was “the most important geopolitical test of this century” for the United States.
The equation is complicated for Washington. U.S. elected officials are showing strong antagonism toward China, forcing the Biden administration to show determination. It must also show it with the historical allies of the United States.
Joe Biden wants to re-engage these allies at his side, while differences of opinion are inevitable. After the turmoil of the Trump presidency, the United States must move forward in the next four years. Antony Blinken’s vision is more pragmatic:
“Our relationship with China will be competitive when it must be, collaborative when it can be, and antagonistic when it must be.”
A return to the pragmatism desired by Joe Biden.
First point: Leverage alliances
The United States wants to be in a position of strength by strengthening alliances with its historical allies. Joe Biden wants America to reinvest in the international organizations abandoned by the Donald Trump administration. This has left the field open to a China that did not ask for as much.
This requires the reinvestment of Americans in NATO, which must be modernized.
NATO is clearly becoming a vector against China, and not only against Russia. The other partners are mentioned by name in the National Security report.
Alliances with Australia, Japan, and South Korea are considered “strategic assets”. Those with India, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries will be deepened. Finally, the Biden administration recognizes that it is “vital to the national interests of the United States to create a deep connection with the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere”.
Second point: Consult with allied countries to identify common interests
Since he arrived at the White House, Joe Biden has been consulting with allied countries to identify common interests. The goal is then to be able to develop concerted strategies.
The partition with Europe, which seeks to develop “its strategic autonomy” and has agreed with Beijing on investments, will require a lot of diplomacies. However, the Europeans believe that the arrival of Joe Biden is a good thing.
It will reopen a good channel of communication and develop a more refined collaboration on crucial commercial issues.
The first test to come: finding an acceptable solution to the Airbus — Boeing dispute.
Third point: Creating a democratic front against China
Technological domination is at the heart of the struggle for influence between the two giants of the world. The most effective way to compete with China in the long term “is to invest in our people, our economy and our democracy”, the report says.
The goal is to ensure that “America, not China, sets the international agenda, global standards, and agreements that reflect our values”.
As such, illegal business practices, intellectual property theft and Internet crime will be systematically fought by the United States from now on. Areas of collaboration are also clearly identified: global warming, global health security, arms control, and non-proliferation.
On the military front, Congress will be asked to vote on the funds needed to invest in the latest defense technologies in which China and Russia now have an advantage.
To unite all the allies of the United States in this direction, nothing better than to attack Beijing on its two major weak points: the question of democracy and human rights. This issue leaves no one different, and it will allow the United States to create a democratic front against China.
The Taiwan and Hong Kong cases, as well as the one on the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and concerning Tibet, will be defended tooth and nail from now on. The complacency of the Donald Trump era is over.
The arrival in power of Joe Biden does not change the course of the United States for the future. China is the new enemy that will have to be fought.
What does change, however, is the strategy that will be employed. No more isolationism and Donald Trump’s “America First” motto, and a return to the multilateralism that has made the United States successful for several decades.
The Biden administration wants to be more pragmatic, which could allow the United States to regain leadership in the face of the new equilibrium that is taking shape at the global level with the rise of China.