U.S.-China Relations in the Post-Trump Phase
The Biden Administration is in process of working out its strategy on China, which it recognizes as a global rival seeking to displace the U.S. in the international system. It is also under pressure from Republicans and Trump era policies to take hawkish positions, and continue or enhance trade and technology restrictions, and reduce Chinese access to U.S. systems, including universities. Biden team, however, does not want to forgo the potential advantages from cooperation in select areas. It also wants to coordinate positions with allies and partners, to enhance effectiveness. But many of its allies value the trade, technology and investment partnerships with China, and have a perspective on security issues different from the U.S. Others do not see the same challenge from “authoritarianism” to their internal governance systems. The dialectics of U.S. effort, driven by its interests and domestic compulsions, allied and partner willingness, and Chinese countervailing advocacy and influence operations will determine the specifics and effectiveness of the U.S. China policy over the next four years.