Discussing Biden's Potential China Policy


cbl21

Junior Member
Registered Member
Many of you feel that Biden will be far worse for China. Overall, contrary to popular opinion, I feel that Biden winning won't be worse for China. In fact, he would be better, as he has not so subtly let out that he will eliminate tariffs, and more. Let me explain:

This article offers a countervailing view to an arguably common view now, that a Biden's administration's approach of creating a united global anti-China alliance amongst its allies in Europe and Asia will certainly succeed:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
BALDING, THE FULBRIGHT PROFESSOR, pointed to several problems with Biden’s plan to rely on allies to pressure China.
For one thing, there are no allies waiting for the United States to reach out to them. “Many countries have interests that cause them not to directly confront China,” he said. Some would avoid publicly admitting to being part of a U.S. alliance in order not to upset China, but would quietly shift their policy to align with the United States. For instance, countries like France or Romania do not have a formal ban on Huawei, but their telecommunication regulations effectively block the company.
Another concern is that even if Biden were able to gather allies, it is uncertain what new, tangible policies these countries could implement against China. Each country faces its own domestic issues and has its own foreign relations ideology, Balding noted. Germany, for example, the largest economy in Europe, has avoided criticizing China: Its leaders say it is not their place to lecture other countries on how to act. Rather German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes closer trade ties with China would push the Communist country toward a freer political system.
German companies have large investments in China: Volkswagen invested $2.4 billion in two Chinese electric vehicle companies. The carmaker also opened a factory in Xinjiang, the area of the Uighur reeducation camps. When asked, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess claimed he was unaware of repression in the region. German manufacturing company Siemens and chemical producer BASF also have factories in Xinjiang.
The European Union has done little more than publish strongly worded statements against China’s human rights abuses. With China as its second-largest trading partner, the EU has not enacted sanctions against the country. In a March 2019
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, it called China both a “cooperation partner” and a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.”
Balding’s conclusion: “It’s dubious what you could expect from allies.”
A common view is that Biden would be much tougher for China in that we would be more willing to rally a global diplomatic alliance across the West against China. Will that even materialize, however? I would argue countries like Germany and South Korea have vested economic interests in China such that their interests will not necessarily align or coincide with the US's view of the need to contain China, especially if China powers the global economic recovery in the next 2 years, which countries in SEA, South Korea, Japan, or Europe may want to take advantage of.

Arguably, if a common alliance against China cannot be found by now, I am skeptical of anything effective Biden can accomplish by potentially creating a "global anti-China alliance", especially considering these countries, such as the EU, aren't willing to jeopardize their own relations and interests in China right now, much less go into an alliance with the US under a Biden administration. If such an anti-China alliance could be so easily formed, what is stopping Germany and the rest of Asia from either, a) informally aligning with Trump's current course of action against China in their policies, or b) formally forming an alliance between themselves without US involvement to contain China?

Hence, I do not really subscribe to the view that a Biden administration will be able to magically conjure and arrange an anti-China alliance; such an alliance would demand mutually coinciding interests in dramatically weakened, isolated, contained, or stagnant China, between the countries of the EU and the Indo-Pacific, which is not necessarily the case.

Furthermore, Biden's seeking of cooperation with China in areas dealing with climate change may further complicate efforts of global alliance containing China; it has been argued that under Obama, engagement with China in order to get their cooperation on climate change distracted other efforts by the US to contain China's rise and promote a harsher approach against China. That view is also espoused in this article by Foreign Policy:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Kausikan described Rice—a possible candidate for secretary of state or defense in a Biden adminstration—as weak-willed on Beijing: “She was amongst those who thought the United States should deemphasise competition to get China’s cooperation on climate change, which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of international relations.” His prediction in case of a Biden victory: “We will look back on Trump with nostalgia.”
Hence, not only do I doubt a Biden administration's capacity and ability to put together a global anti-China alliance, but I furthermore have doubts over the willingness of a Biden administration to build such an alliance if it is detrimental to Biden's other major part of his agenda, his climate change policy agenda.

Overall, when we talk about a hypothetical Biden policy of forming an "successful, powerful international alliance against China", I feel like more people consider these four components:
  1. Is there even enough political will in such an Biden administration and government to initiate the building and negotiating of an effective anti-China alliance? Biden's climate goals will mean having to seek cooperation with China, thus potentially complicating such an effort.
  2. Will American allies even agree to take part in an anti-China alliance? The interests of US allies with regards to China do not necessarily mutually coincide with that of the US's. Germany and South Korea have deep economic interests in China, as do many of the US allies, and may need share the view that China must by systematically or fundamentally weakened and contained. After all, especially if China powers the global economic recovery in the next 2 years, which countries in SEA, South Korea, Japan, or Europe may want to take advantage of, may lead them to reconsider committing to actions that might impact their future relationship or interests with China and their countries' own bottom lines.
  3. Even if an anti-China alliance is agreed upon, how far are member allies willing to go? What would be the fundamental goal of such an anti-China alliance? Mere pressure, or total and merciless containment and isolation of China? This relates to #2 in that, while the US may want to see China permanently contained and stagnant so as to maintain its hegemonic position in the world, other countries may only be willing to go so far in certain actions to pressure China before they themselves will face certain impact. For example, such an alliance might be willing to agree to actions such as a military deterrence to pressure China, but they might yet oppose economic of technological sanctions, such as the US aiming to prevent companies like Tokyo Electron or Samsung from selling to Chinese firms, or a permanent sanctioning of SMIC by not only the US and its allies. As such, allied countries like Japan, South Korea, or Germany might have much to lose if the actions of such anti-China alliance go too far; this as such might likely limit the degree of efficacy an anti-China alliance and its actions might have on China compared what the US has in mind.
  4. What will China's response to such an alliance be? China might be able to leverage economic relations with many of the American allies which are supposed to be part of this anti-China alliance. They might adopt policies to counteract the actions of this anti-China alliance which might hurt China economically or geostrategically. I feel like point 4 is not often discussed when it comes to discussion about Biden's potential policy approach to China if Biden wins, as if China always only on the receiving end, which it isn't.
What do you think about this analysis? Let me know your thoughts below!
 

texx1

Junior Member
You have to take ccp's own policy inertia into account. Chinese government doesn't like to preempt problems. It's usually reactionary to threats and only like to take some half hearted actions when threats can no longer be planked over by meaningless platitudes. This is the so called two steps forward and one step back so common in Chinese political system. An example is the national security law in hongkong after almost a year of protest, still the law is subject to a hostile judiciary (western judges).

Trump's maximum pressure anti-china policy has given voice to hawks which have galvanized a number of self sufficiency policies which in my opinion should have been taken years ago. However, many these policies are damaging to established businesses' interests associated with doves. They don't really want to antagonize US, they are being forced into by trump's ruthlessness. A more political savvy president like Biden could again give voice to the doves, which in turn initiating another step back. Hence why many think Biden is worse for China.
 

AssassinsMace

Brigadier
If the Vice-Presidential debate was any indication, Kamala Harris hit the Trump administration for making trade worse and how much it cost the US. Frankly I think it doesn't matter. The West is still following the US even with Trump in office. They're following his tech ban. They've already ganged-up. So what else can they do more that doesn't start costing them more in the process. China can withstand any pain longer and they'll break first. Coronavirus has shown how fragile Western democracy is not how strong. The only thing left is a military solution and that's less certain for them than economics.
 

silentlurker

Junior Member
Registered Member
Interesting analysis. I would also add Biden's stability means he would be better for China. As long as no major events occur, China will overtake the US naturally in 5 (10? 15?) years, so a more sane candidate is preferable.
 

daifo

Junior Member
Registered Member
From reading articles and tweets of the current crop gop/republicans (they are not the Bush 1 gop anymore), they really want China to fail and become poor/chaos again. Nothing less would satisfy them. I think the liberals still believe/hope for a peaceful rise of China. China is in RCEP and BRI, I think the ability of forming an anti-china gangsters outside of some of the 5 eyes has likely past.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nye

free_6ix9ine

Junior Member
Registered Member
From reading articles and tweets of the current crop gop/republicans (they are not the Bush 1 gop anymore), they really want China to fail and become poor/chaos again. Nothing less would satisfy them. I think the liberals still believe/hope for a peaceful rise of China. China is in RCEP and BRI, I think the ability of forming an anti-china gangsters outside of some of the 5 eyes has likely past.
Nope both sides want China to fail equally as much. Republicans are just more vocal and more mentally challenged.
 

daifo

Junior Member
Registered Member
Nope both sides want China to fail equally as much. Republicans are just more vocal and more mentally challenged.
In my experience, the republican/gop are creating the fake news, well meaning liberals tend to fall for the fake news. At least from the non politician side.
 

Top