Biden’s China Doctrine?


The current issue of “The Economist,” published recently, features a cover story on Biden’s China Doctrine. According to the report, “Bidenism” has converted the rhetoric of the “Trumpism” era into a policy prescription of Sino-US clashes (particularly institutional confrontation), with only one winner.

Biden and his team think that China is not interested in coexisting with the US, and they anticipate an early domination. Because of this, the goal of US policy toward China is to undermine China’s objectives. The US can collaborate with China on topics of mutual interest, such as climate change, but on problems such as the economics, technology, diplomacy, military, and values, the US focuses opposing China’s aspirations by strengthening itself and expanding cooperation with allies.

The report calls Biden’s China Doctrine into doubt. Internally, although Biden wishes to utilize China to unify the two parties and push his own agenda, the Republican Party is clearly not foolish enough to readily embrace Biden’s proposals as long as Biden includes a “China” chapter on the bill’s cover.

Diplomatically, Biden not only misjudged the United States’ present global power, but also miscalculated the losses that American allies would suffer if they faced China. In reality, instead of promoting cohabitation, the US administration has turned the relationship between major powers into a “zero sum” game.

The article provides an illustration of how China is on the verge of dominating the economic sphere. Aside from becoming the world’s largest economy, the number of nations with China as their primary trade partner has nearly doubled that of countries with the United States as their primary trading partner.

When it comes to the Sino-US competition, Germany’s perspective is clearly influenced by economic reasons. Southeast Asian countries turn to the United States only for security, and they look to China for economic growth. As a result, if forced to choose between China and the United States, many countries will go with China.

Biden has continued to utilize China’s difficulties to push the domestic agenda, despite the US’s capacity to re-defend norms. His policy proposals include industrial strategies, government involvement, planning, and control. According to rumors, the Biden administration may employ further subsidies and oversight to ensure that jobs and manufacturing remain in the United States.

So, in effect, Biden’s policy proposals have followed a moderate kind of trade protectionism. If the Biden administration withdraws its friends from China, if the goal is to allow the US to leave more employment possibilities, the allies who have not benefitted will understandably wonder, “Why on earth should I join the US in doing this?”

The cover story of The Economist may be considered to have struck the high points of Bi’s China policy since taking office. The Biden administration appears to have clear stances and propositions on China policy, but both its logic and the actions of relevant officials send a strong signal that it serves only the internal affairs of the United States – as if the United States is unconcerned about the affairs of other countries.

Benefits and emotions For example, Southeast Asia was originally given significant weight in the United States’ Asia-Pacific policy, but when the ASEAN foreign ministers met at the end of May, Anthony Blinken, who had been invited, not only did not attend, but instead decided to travel from Ireland to Israel. Connected to join, however because to technical difficulties, other individuals waited on the scene for over an hour before connecting successfully. Despite the fact that it is only a technical problem, the impression provided to ASEAN nations is that the Biden administration does not value Southeast Asia.

A few weeks later, the same group of ASEAN foreign ministers traveled to Chongqing for the meeting. China not only laid out the red carpet for them, but Foreign Minister Wang Yi also had constructive face-to-face talks with them. When ASEAN nations compare their sentiments to those of China and the United States, they realize how frigid they are.

Aside from technical problems, Blinken opted to visit the Middle East rather than Southeast Asia, which rendered the Biden administration’s “return to Asia-Pacific” rhetoric unconvincing to many countries. The US Department of Defense relocated its lone aircraft carrier in the Western Pacific to facilitate military departure from Afghanistan, sending an incredible signal to US allies.

Similar events took place several times in the six months after Biden entered the stage. For example, when the Indonesian foreign minister visited New York last month for a UN meeting, he requested a foreign minister-level meeting with Blinken, but Blinken wasn’t sure if he couldn’t spare the time or didn’t want to see each other at all.

Other nations’ bewilderment, as well as the United States’ skepticism of the Biden administration, has inevitably been felt. Biden and his staff are now pushing for a solution. Blinken, for example, stated last Sunday that the Biden administration maintained the Trump administration’s policy of rejecting China’s South China Sea sovereignty claims, and that the US and the Philippines have signed a mutual defense treaty, and that any attacks on the Philippines will result in a response from the US.

Trying to win the approval of the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. However, studying Pompeo will not help the US diplomatic position. If Biden’s China policy proposal continues to follow the thinking and operations of the Trump era, it may face significant domestic and foreign problems.

Raihan Ronodipuro
Raihan Ronodipuro
Raihan Ronodipuro holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the prestigious School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University, China. His academic journey was propelled by the esteemed Chinese MOFCOM Scholarship, leading him to successfully attain a Master of Law in International Relations from the School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University, China. With a rich background, Raihan has also contributed as an Associate Researcher in the Department of Politics and Security at the Center for Indonesia-China Studies (CICS). Currently, he plays a pivotal role as a member of the International Relations Commission within the Directorate of Research and Studies for the Overseas Indonesian Students' Association Alliance (OISAA) for the term 2022/2023.


The Climate Crisis is an Education Crisis

Authors: Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and Yasmine Sherif “The one...

War for Profit: Implications of the Growing Private Security Industry

The private security industry mostly entails Private Military and...

The Commercialized War Between Israel and Hamas

The sudden assault of Hamas of Israel has resulted...

Accelerating Renewable Energy Development in Indonesia

Climate change is growing and developing into a...