President Biden has warned Communist China that it should expect “extreme competition” from the United States. But he also says that he does not want to forge a conflict-oriented relationship with Beijing.
In an interview with CBS, Biden said that he has not yet spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping since assuming office. They have met several times previously while both served as vice president of their respective countries.
“I’m not going to do it the way Trump did. We are going to focus on the international rules of the road… We need not have a conflict but there is going to be extreme competition… I know [Xi] pretty well… He’s very bright and he’s very tough and – I don’t mean it as a criticism it’s just a reality – he doesn’t have a democratic…bone in his body,” Biden said in the interview. While promising that Washington will deal with communist China’s economic abuses head-on, Biden said that China is America’s “most serious competitor.”
However, Biden also stated that his administration is willing to work with Beijing on American interests matters. Biden has limited his phone talks to a close circle of allies, including the UK, France, Japan, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, Australia, and the secretary-general of NATO. The only leader with whom Biden has a conflict of interest is Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden’s tough talk on China is in line with the expectation of many experts who had predicted that the new administration would not immediately change Trump’s stance toward Beijing. Firstly, a soft approach would be viewed as the U.S. compromising with the CCP. It would create a negative image of Biden and the Democratic Party in the U.S.
Secondly, a compromising attitude would send a negative message to America’s allies in the Indo-Pacific, who might perceive the U.S. as having weakened. Some nations might even switch their allegiances to Beijing. Such a development will inevitably harm American interests in the region. Therefore, Biden has no choice but to present a strong front against Communist China.
Biden administration silent as China slaps sanctions on 28 American citizens
Despite Biden’s promises, his administration has remained silent as communist China has slapped sanctions on 28 American citizens. Those sanctions include individuals who were part of the Trump administration. Beijing accused these individuals of undermining Chinese interests and disrupting bilateral relations.
One of the sanctioned individuals is former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is concerned that Biden has the wrong policy when tackling China, which would harm the United States in the long run. It would create a world that is “deeply different.” In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said that Biden’s China policy would strongly influence American employment.
“If we get this wrong… we will live in a world that is so deeply different. We will see these sanctions on our leaders pale in comparison to the pain and the absence of prosperity that will be here in the United States of America if we don’t get this right. It’s one of the things that I’m proudest of that we did. We protected American jobs. We protected American businesses. We made sure that our intellectual property was in a better place. These are the things that will ultimately matter,” he said in the interview.