Analysis: Biden faces a more confident China after US chaos


KEN MORITSUGU

Thu, January 21, 2021, 12:58 PM

BEIJING (AP) — As a new U.S. president takes office, he faces a determined Chinese leadership that could be further emboldened by America’s troubles at home.

The disarray in America, from the rampant COVID-19 pandemic to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, gives China’s ruling Communist Party a boost as it pursues its long-running quest for national “rejuvenation” — a bid to return the country to what it sees as its rightful place as a major nation.

For Joe Biden, sworn in Wednesday as the 46th president, that could make one of his major foreign policy challenges even more difficult as he tries to manage an increasingly contentious relationship between the world’s rising power and its established one.

The stakes are high for both countries and the rest of the world. A misstep could spark an accidental conflict in the Western Pacific, where China’s growing naval presence is bumping up against America’s. The trade war under President Donald Trump hurt workers and farmers in both countries, though some in Vietnam and elsewhere benefited as companies moved production outside China. On global issues such as climate, it is difficult to make progress if the world’s two largest economies aren’t talking.

The Chinese government expressed hope Thursday that Biden would return to dialogue and cooperation after the divisiveness under Trump.

“It is normal for China and the United States to have some differences,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. “Countries with different social systems, cultural backgrounds and ideologies should and can coexist … and work together to achieve peace and stability and development in the world.”

But Kurt Tong, a former U.S. diplomat in Asia, sees a stalemate in the coming few years in which China keeps doing what it has been doing and the U.S. is not happy about it.

“I think it’s going to be a tough patch, it’s just going to be more disagreements than agreements and not a lot of breakthroughs,” said Tong, now a partner with The Asia Group consultancy in Washington, D.C.

A more confident China may push back harder on issues such as technology, territory and human rights. Analysts draw parallels to the 2008 global financial crisis, from which China emerged relatively unscathed. The country’s foreign policy has grown increasingly assertive since then, from staking out territory in disputed waters in the South China Sea to its more recent use of Twitter to hit back at critics. China’s relative success in controlling the pandemic could fuel that trend.

The U.S. has also shifted, with wide support among both Republicans and Democrats for treating China as a competitor, and embracing the need for a tougher approach to China, if not always agreeing with how Trump carried it out. Biden needs to be wary of opening himself up to attacks that he is soft on China if he rolls back import tariffs and other steps taken by his predecessor.

His pressing need to prioritize domestic challenges could give China breathing room to push forward its agenda, whether it be technological advancement or territorial issues from Taiwan to its border with India.

Biden has pointed to potential areas of cooperation, from climate change to curbing North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, but even in those areas, the two countries don’t always agree.

The pandemic, first viewed as a potential threat to President Xi Jinping’s leadership as it spiraled out of control in the city of Wuhan in early 2020, has been transformed into a story of hardship followed by triumph.

The Communist Party has sought to use the pandemic to justify its continued control of the one-party, authoritarian state it has led for more than 70 years, while rounding up citizen-journalists and others to quash any criticism of its handling of the outbreak.

That effort has been aided by the failure of many other nations to stop the spread of COVID-19. Biden takes over a country where deaths continue to mount and virus-related restrictions keep it in recession. China is battling small outbreaks, but life has largely returned to normal and economic growth is accelerating.

“It would have been more difficult for them to push that narrative around the world if the United States had not done such a poor job,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C. “That’s a theme that runs through many issues, that China’s just able to point to the United States and democracy in general as not delivering good governance.”

It’s impossible to gauge support for the Communist Party in a country where many would be unwilling to criticize it publicly, for fear of repercussions. But Niu Jun, an international relations professor at Peking University, said that objectively, public trust should rise given China’s faster recovery from the outbreak.

“To ordinary people, the logic is very simple,” he said, predicting the pandemic would spark public thinking and discussion about which system of governance is more effective.

“The party’s policies are good, our policies are not like the ones in foreign countries, ours are good,” said Liu Shixiu, strolling with her daughter in Wuhan, the city that bore the brunt of the pandemic in China. “We listen to the party.”

It is unclear whether the Communist Party foresees exporting its way of governance as an alternative to the democratic model. For now, Chinese officials note that countries choose different systems and stress the need for others to respect those differences.

“As China becomes more and more confident, maybe they’ll try to shape the internal operations or ways of thinking of other countries,” Tong said. “But to me, it feels more like they don’t want anyone to be able to say that China is bad and get away with it.”

The leadership wants China to be seen and treated as an equal and has shown a willingness to use its growing economic and military might to try to get its way.

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Associated Press video journalist Emily Wang Fujiyama contributed to this report.

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Moritsugu, The Associated Press’ news director for Greater China, has reported in Asia for more than 15 years.

Source: Associated Press “Analysis: Biden faces a more confident China after US chaos”

Note: This is Associated Press’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views


12 Comments on “Analysis: Biden faces a more confident China after US chaos”

  1. […] Source: Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements – Analysis: Biden faces a more confident Chi… […]

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  2. Steve says:

    America is in a tale of woe – economic trade woes, covid suffering woes, racism, corruption, political divisiveness, trumpism ….

    If the Democrats takes the wrong turn in implementing strategies, America will again, bite the dust for lack of leadership. Getting back to WHO, Paris agreement on climate change & other memberships are the easy part. Poor Biden has an insurmountable task ahead of a rotten America to the core ….. Democracy with American characteristics is No match for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

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    • Steve says:

      Also, the vaccines Pfizer, Moderna not as good as Chinese vaccines. Scores of Americans especially women developed breathing problems, minutes after inoculation, had to be injected immediately with another drug to neutralise the life threatening side effects. Day to day, America becoming a tale of woes.

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      • Simon says:

        I spoke to a number of my work colleagues in Britain about vaccines and they readily brought up about how rubbish Chinese vaccine was because of the 50.4% efficacy they read in the media. 91.25% efficacy from Turkey somehow got ignored. This is exactly the misinformation Western media tries to give the impression will know would create misconception amongst its readers. They gave a lot of space with big headlines saying “barely made it pass WHO” “much lower than expected”, so and so, but issue a dsiclaimer, the bit that gave evidence the trial assessment that covers the vaccine being used on people with Covid already, that the test take into account people very mild and no symptoms which explains the lower score was kept as a small footnote or omitted altogether.

        Of course I counter their silly opinions as purely Western media spin because of their anti China views and explain all of the above and more, that Pfizer only scored 33% efficacy after 14 days from one jab in actual real world use in Israel and doubt it past 50% with a second jab. That the efficacy of Western vaccine is based on preventing symptoms in moderate to severe cases only and does not include very mild cases and have zero effect on asymptomatic and does not prevent people catching and passing on the virus, also they only use volunteers that are in good health, nearly all below 60, no history of allergy or underlying health issue and completely free of Covid. So in another word they got their data from volunteers that are going to be more resilient to Covid which a gave skewed result to their vaccine to fool regulators in ther country which is also just as corrupt.

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        • Steve says:

          As I am aware, the 50% approval is only a threshold required by WHO for all vaccines. It’s a bit confusing. The actual efficacy in the 1st jab is between 60 to 80% requirement, China scored around 78.25% which is very high, but 2nd jab to produce antibodies efficacy, China scored 99.52%. Some countries like Indonesia, Thailand also scored over 90%
          China has very mature technology in producing vaccines compared to Pfizer, Astrazenecca. This is why Chinese medical experts urged Australia not to buy mRNA, instead buy Chinese vaccines as the Chinese technology is more mature. Over next months, the serious side effects of Pfizer can only get worst.

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          • Simon says:

            There are more reports that the new British strain and other new variants that target the spike protein are resistence to Western vaccines which relies on altering the spike protein. This renders westedrn vaccines useless and a new vaccine has to be made. With a whole killed virus used by Chinese vaccines because no matter how much the virus mutate as long as it is Covid-19 it remains effective against it.

            Western countries should admit they got it wrong with their poor performing vaccines and accept Chinese vaccines are the only real solution.
            A work colleague died a few days ago from Covid most likely from the new more deadly British origin virus. The British system of not controlling the pandemic and the vaccines they have are inaffective in treating seriously ill Covid patients are all to blame. If Western countries have bitten their lips and accepted Chinese vaccines he most probably be alive today.

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            • Steve says:

              Looks like UK will have a very tough 2021 and Boris may lose his PM job. UK has hit a record high of 1000 deaths per day.

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              • Steve says:

                After 12,400 israelis inoculated with Pfizer
                1st jab all end up infected with covid19. About 69 israelis after receiving 2nd jab, contracted covid. Question marks rising over efficacy of Pfizer

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                • Simon says:

                  BBC’s anti China journo John Sudworth spew more nonsesence about his thought of the origin of Covid and Wuhan, accusing China of covering up and give legs to Trump’s conspiracy theory of a Wuhan lab leak being a the cause. Sudworth uses theories not backed up by science and white washes any evidence it came from outside China and ignored evidence Covid was in other countries before it reaches China. Seems hardly anything ever gets mentioned in Western media about how in blood tests found 5 million Americans already have antibody on 13th December 2019 and it takes antibody to occur in 2 weeks after infection which means 5 million Americans alreday had Covid on 1st December when the first case emerge in Wuhan. When using data on how Covid gets to be transmitted to 5 million by 1st December relative to the size of population of America of 330 million by backtracing to its first case it point to July 2019, yes the exact time when the CDC reported of a serious lab leak in Fort Detrick and closes the facility. This facility just so happen uses live animals to create viruses in ther research and months before its closure have advertised locally for “animal handlers” to work in their facilities.

                  Sudworth’s parting shot “For China, this city’s past is now propaganda and the truth, like the virus, is being brought under tight control” is basically accusing China of knowing and suppressing the “truth” so according to him the so call “truth” is the virus originate in Wuhan. What authority and evidence does Sudworth have to say this? None! He is not a scientist or a leadng researcher, he does not know things the WHO does not know. In facts scientists around the world now accept the virus was brought into Wuhan and was merely first detect there.

                  Sudworth is a journalist employed by a British state media that hold on to a narrative of impartiality but actually spew propaganda and conspiracy theories to demonise other countries and distort the truth to its readers. His botched reporting of Xinjiang over alleged “concentration camps” of a cotton factory being called out and ridiculed by the factory owner caused Sudworth to issue a counter report recently to put his own spin to save his own job made him look like spiteful idiot who is clearly out of touch about China and only there to serve the purpose of denial and spin. He cant even understand and speak Mandarin so what is his purpose? To so misinformation and have his head up the corporation’s arse whome he works for.

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                  • Peter says:

                    This guy, BBC’c Sudworth is a CIA paid troll and he is just like his boss Pompeo, I lied, cheat & steal. All his reporting on China was nothing but lie and made-up stories created to confuse the English speaking world about China. I never read his news-writings at all because all his writings were fake news.

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  3. komonsense says:

    “Is the F35 program doomed?”—- article in Sputnik news
    The last sentence is “unless Lockheed can produce a miracle, the government will have no choice but to end the program.

    Death to the great satan and his toys with which he uses to intimidate the world .
    USA is public enemy number one

    Like

  4. komonsense says:

    Thinly disguised anti China drivel from a Jap-bastard. Waste of time

    Like


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