The course of the US-China bilateral relationship after the American election, is what the world is looking on to. The Peoples Republic of China policy of President-elect Joe Biden is said to be a combination of former United States President Donald Trump and Barak Obama.
The US-China, two of the world’s largest economies are in continuous friction recently. Ties between the two countries have reached their lowest in decades. This looks like an ominous sign, according to experts; they believe it is the clear direction towards the crack in one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world.
Mr Biden, has to face profound dilemmas implanted by his predecessor, and a lot of unfinished business instore, piled up from Mr Trump’s onslaught against China over a few years.
US-China relation during Trump’s Era
During the Mr Trump administration, the US has seen to have put sanctions on the Chinese government and many of its officials over issues of human rights in places like Xinjiang and Hong Kong while a noticeable increase is observed in USA’s engagement with Taiwan, including sales of arms. From the outside, it looks like trade deal being brought into existence to end protracted tariff war has obstructed wherein the US has placed more restrictions on Chinese state media.
Hong Kong and Taiwan are particular flashpoints. Soon after Beijing imposing a controversial national security law in Hong Kong, Mr Trump’s administration placed sanctions on officials connected to the crackdown, downgraded the city’s special customs status and warned financial institutions against conducting “significant” transactions with anyone deemed to have undermined the special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea’s autonomy.
In Taiwan, the US is setting in high expectation by sending in high-level government visitors, increased military exercises in the region and introduced a new economic connection with Taipei. Several calls have been made to the US bring an end to its policy of “strategic ambiguity,” this is a way of the cast down Taipei from making a military move by refusing to say if the US would yet again become a saviour and come to Taiwan’s aid.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans have credited Mr Trump with causing to notice China’s security dangers, and it’s out of line monetary practices like intellectual property theft, his dealings with China have likewise been value-based and conflicting. While trying to make sure about an economic alliance, MrTrump showered acclaim on Mr Jinping, postponed sanctions against China’s common freedom infringement for quite a long time and acquitted the Chinese organization ZTE for crossing paths with the US law.
Furthermore, he has utilized racist and xenophobic language, such as calling the COVID the “Kung Flu,” that has energized assaults on individuals of Asian descent around the nation.
Biden’s China policy:
Meanwhile, two decades later, Mr Biden has acknowledged that the Chinese have exploited the international system, and has called for a more aggressive approach. The Democrats along with Mr Biden, referred to the leader of China, Xi Jinping, as one of several “thugs” and Mr Trump had shown a soft heart towards Chinese, he has also assured to take a reflective stance against China.
“We need to be having the rest of our friends with us, saying to China: ‘We play by the rules. You play by them, or you are going to pay the price for not playing by them, economically’,” said Mr Biden.
In response, Mr Jinping replied that the Chinese people had learnt to “speak to invaders in a language they understand.”
He added further: “The Chinese people will not create trouble but nor are we afraid of them and no matter the difficulties or challenges we face, our legs will not shake, and our backs will not bend.”
Mr Biden has pledged to devote more resources to enhancing American manufacturing capacity, infrastructure and technological development, to ensure the US retains an edge over China even as it invests considerable sums in fields like telecommunications, artificial intelligence and semiconductors.
On Thursday, Mr Biden during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors in his hometown in Wilmington, Delaware said: “It’s not so much about punishing China, it’s about making sure China understands they’ve got to play by the rules. It’s a simple proposition.” He further added that keeping in mind this, the US is planning to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The China-US relationship will not go back to where it was before,” said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of International Relations at Renmin University in Beijing. “The relationship is so bad.”
“As Mr Biden has arrived at the White House, we should expect to see increasing US-China tensions across a broad range of economic, political, geo-strategic, human rights and people-to-people issues for the years to come,” said Wendy Cutler, former acting deputy at the Office of the US Trade Representative, focusing on Asia.
“The mutual distrust has never been higher,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I think many in China think the US has basically abandoned its one-China policy,” she said.
“This is likely going to be a period of continuing uncertainty on the US-China front,” said Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce. “There is no question that President Trump has adopted a tough stance on China, and this probably doesn’t give President-elect Biden a lot of political flexibility early on, but we expect a significant departure in tone, style and process.”
Though it is expected to see rising tension under Mr Biden’s administration but the game-changer, according to political analysts, is going to be his approach towards this issue in hand. Mr Biden big plan includes the administrated work with USA’s allies like Europe and Japan to pressurize China through the multilateral organizations that Mr Trump has abstained. Analysts expect Mr Biden, to work with China on issues such as climate change and response to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Chinese strategic experts said Mr Biden entering the White House is expected to provide an opportunity for breakthroughs in resuming high-level communication and rebuilding mutual strategic trust between the two major countries.
The current scenario of the two countries are very heated with such cross swords being fired by the leaders of the two countries, this indicates the further worsening of the situation in hand and leading to no new scope for improvements in the bilateral relationship of US-China.
Mr Biden will face pressure from both Democrats and Republicans not to revert to the approach that he and many of his predecessors had earlier embraced in trying to transform China’s economic practices by bringing it into the global economy.
Congress is also relatively unified on taking a tough stance on China. Hundreds of China-related bills are circulating, including several bipartisan efforts that echo Mr Biden’s stress on competing with China by investing in the United States industries like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
Beijing’s tactics are very well open to the world, and the US believe in ‘white man’s burden’ is all set to free the world with the disease inflicted by China on the economic front as well as the political one.
Beijing has as of late supported a policy of more prominent technological independence and a more grounded military to shield itself from a hostile United States, and pushed forward with solidifying other economic associations. On Sunday, China marked the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a skillet Asian exchange settlement that incorporates Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, and will help concrete China’s picture as the predominant economic force in the region.
It is important to note that the world shall now experience a unique turn of events with this fiery approach under Mr Biden, who is all set to continue the unfinished business of Mr Trump. Imagining a truce is hard soon between the two countries. All that is to be hoped is a peaceful stance opted by the US-China in the newfound disagreement.