Sino US relations in Biden Era
Biden will become the 46th president of the United States after winning Pennsylvania, according to the associated press, CNN, BBC and other mainstream media reports on the 8th. Biden then tweeted that it would be a tough job to thank the United States for choosing him as leader, but whether or not people had voted for him before, he would be the president of all Americans.
Where will China US relations go after Biden enters the White House? What are the similarities and differences compared with the trump era? The reporter of Global Times interviewed many experts and analyzed comprehensively from five major fields to try to outline the general picture of Biden administration’s China policy.
Will the Biden administration insist on “contact with China” or “Sino US decoupling”?
In an interview with the global times, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the center for American Studies at Fudan University, said that Biden’s coming to power may bring a “respite period” to Sino US relations.
He believed that at present, the friction and confrontation between China and the United States have spread over all fields and are on the track of a “rapid vicious circle”. The overall performance is characterized by three characteristics: the destruction of strategic mutual trust, the almost suspension of high-level political interaction, and the absence of any substantive cooperation. When Biden comes to power, at least China and the United States can make breakthroughs in the latter two aspects.
“It is expected that China and the United States will resume more pragmatic and constructive cooperation in vaccine, anti epidemic, climate change and other fields, and some previously suspended dialogue and liaison mechanisms are also expected to resume. However, the reconstruction of strategic mutual trust is not an overnight success. ” Xinqiang analysis said.
However, the change of president may not change the overall direction of Washington’s China policy. “No matter who comes to the White House, the relationship between the United States and China will be more or less the status quo,” CNBC predicted recently, citing Williams, the former chief trade negotiator of the White House.
“Being tough with China is what unites the polarized country. We are politically polarized, but on China, we are not polarized, “Williams said. But unlike trump, Biden’s policy may be more robust and predictable. “You don’t tweet in the middle of the night announcing tariffs or something, but the overall trajectory will be roughly the same.”
Dawei, assistant president of the school of international relations and director of the Department of international politics, told the global times that Biden’s China policy will not simply return to the “Obama era” of 2016, because in the past four years, great changes have taken place in Sino US relations and the world, and the views of elites and people of the two countries on each other have been almost completely reshaped.
“Biden’s adjustment of China policy is bound to be based on the era of Trump – in fact, the complete change of China policy may be the biggest political legacy left by the trump administration to the United States.” According to Dawei.
He said that “China engagement policy” needs to be adjusted, which has gradually become the consensus of the US government and the public. Biden’s taking office will not change the general trend of competition and confrontation between the two countries. The problem is that what kind of alternative policy framework he will introduce is still unclear. “But competition doesn’t mean decoupling. I don’t think the Biden administration will support a comprehensive decoupling strategy with China. “
Will the trade war continue? Will tariffs be abolished?
According to CNBC, analysts’ reports from the Swiss bank Long’ao believe that Biden’s victory can reduce some trading uncertainty. “Biden may take a more rational attitude towards bilateral trade, even in other areas, his team may show the same attitude towards China hawks as the trump administration.” However, analysts at the bank said they did not assume Biden would automatically reduce tariffs on Chinese goods.
Xinqiang predicts that the two governments may first reevaluate the first stage trade agreement reached before, and some contents of the agreement will not exclude adjustment due to changes in the actual situation, and then continue negotiations on the basis of the first stage agreement. “From the perspective of the United States, the tariff imposed by trump is actually a” good chip “for Biden to continue negotiations. It is unlikely that he will take the initiative to cancel it.”
At the same time, he pointed out that there are labor groups behind the Democratic Party, which has always been more inclined to trade protectionism than the Republican Party. In fact, Trump’s position on trade issues is an “alternative” among the Republicans. Therefore, Xinqiang predicts that tariffs on China may be relaxed first in areas where the US people have suffered great losses, such as daily necessities, but other areas need more difficult and long-term negotiations.
An exclusive Reuters report in October quoted two senior advisers of Biden as saying that if Biden is elected, Biden will consult with major U.S. allies to seek “collective influence” to deal with China before making a tariff decision on China. The two advisers said the move was to avoid the mistake of repeating Trump’s “US priority” agenda, which had angered several key US allies. According to another Washington Post assistant, Biden has not yet made a final decision on the tariff.
Another issue of widespread concern in the field of trade is whether it is possible for the United States under Biden to rejoin the trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP)? TPP is an economic and trade proposition during the Obama administration, which is generally believed to cause great pressure on China. However, the agreement has not been approved by the United States. After trump took office, he officially announced his withdrawal from the TPP in 2017, and the remaining 11 countries signed the “comprehensive progress agreement of trans Pacific partners” (cptpp) in March 2018.
In this regard