On Jan 20 last year, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States vowing to solve its problems. Reviewing the development of Sino-US relations, one year on, it is clear that his administration has worsened the problems in Sino-US relations, not solved them. Not only has it enthusiastically inherited its predecessor’s bullying trade practices and Indo-Pacific strategy targeting China, it has also sought to further toughen them.
More Chinese entities have been blacklisted, and the administration has tried, and continues to try, to get the US’ allies to close ranks with it, and to persuade or coerce other countries, to isolate China politically and economically and in the technological field, despite their obvious reluctance to choose sides.
It has also been attempting to command the moral high ground by carrying out value diplomacy; bigging itself up as a beacon for democracy and defender of human rights while denigrating China as being a wrecking light for democracy and a violator of human rights. At the same time, it has called on China to cooperate with it to jointly respond to climate change, and strengthen bilateral coordination to try and resolve regional issues such as the Iran nuclear deal.
Yet despite China and the US having broad common interests and sharing common responsibilities for the world, and despite the Chinese side having made it clear in the exchanges between the two sides that it is always willing to engage in constructive dialogue with the US — including in the two leaders’ three talks by phone and video link, and the diplomatic interactions in Anchorage, Tianjin, Zurich and Rome — the administration continues to refuse to work with China to build a cooperative relationship based on mutual trust and respect.
The competition-confrontation-cooperation trichotomy with which it dresses up its China policy cannot disguise its artifice. China is the other that must be feared, since both the US psyche and the US economy demand a bete noire.
But it is a shortsighted and selfish policy that courts disaster for the world. Not least because apart from trying to put in place an Iron Curtain to separate the US and its allies from the rest, the Biden administration is continuously playing the Taiwan card, irrespective of the dangers of doing so.
The raging COVID-19 pandemic in the US, which caused nearly half a million deaths over the past year, and the highest inflation rate in decades should awaken the Biden administration to the fact that blaming China and the ceaseless printing of banknotes are slow poison instead of the solutions to the US’ problems.
The Biden administration should accept that it is counterproductive to build its China policy on the foundation of its predecessor’s and to let itself be led by the nose by the diehard China-bashers.
It should take the occasion of the anniversary to conduct a comprehensive and objective review and audit of its China policy, and make the necessary adjustments to help get the two countries’ relations back on the right track.
Editorial, China Daily