Bonnie Glaser's Testimony: U.S. Policy Towards China and the Indo-Pacific under the Biden Administration
Bonnie Glaser, director of GMF’s Asia Program, testified in front of the U.K. House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee on April 26, 2021. Her testimony addressed U.S. policy towards China and the Indo-Pacific under the Biden administration.
As strategic competition will remain the dominant feature of the U.S.-China relationship going forward, the U.S. administration’s top priorities are strengthening itself at home to compete more effectively and working with like-minded allies and partners abroad to revitalize democracy the world over. The Biden administration’s intention is to compete, confront, and collaborate as needed. President Biden’s China policy will depend in part on what Beijing’s policies are and will seek to work with China where it is in U.S. national interests to do so, including potentially on climate issues and Iran. Within Washington, there is greater convergence in the U.S. Congress on China than on any other issue. This includes the assessment of the challenges posed by China and the need for the United States to push back against malign Chinese behavior.
Economically, the United States and China are deeply intertwined, but targeted decoupling efforts by the United States in areas related to national security, and Chinese policies aimed at self-reliance, are likely to reduce overall interdependence to some extent in the years to come. The Biden administration is carrying out a broad review of U.S. policies toward China, evaluating what it inherited from the Trump administration. Policy approaches on specific issues, such as how to proceed in its technological competition with China, are still being worked out. China will probably continue to close the gap in overall high-tech capability, but the right set of policies—and effective collaboration with allies—can enable the United States and its democratic partners to maintain its overall lead in core capabilities, such as semiconductors and operating systems.
The Biden administration hopes that its allies will coordinate closely with DC to put pressure on China, to change its objectionable practices and policies, and to encourage it act more responsibly. The June G7 Summit in Cornwall provides an opportunity to show that like-minded countries are willing to take concrete actions. The United Kingdom’s role in the Indo-Pacific is important and will be even more crucial in the future. The United Kingdom can contribute in many ways to enhance regional stability and security and promote economic openness and prosperity.
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