The foreign policy of the United States has seen a sudden change, however, the sad part is it was not for the better. As per a Reuters report, while trade will be a part of President Joe Biden’s overall negotiation policy with China, it won’t be the driving force in Sino-U.S. relations, as it was under former President Donald Trump, a former official at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said on Wednesday.
In short, the new Biden administration’s approach towards China will not prioritise the Trade imbalances and the malpractices of the Chinese Communist Party vis a vis its trade policies. While this was being predicted for a very long time, it was not believed that the administration will be so overt about the change in the foreign policy. By this action, the USA has expressed its inclination to giving China a free hand in Asia and in a way has accepted the Chinese supremacy in the region.
“There are fundamental differences on a host of issues between the United States and China that will be difficult to resolve,” Wendy Cutler, former assistant trade representative at the USTR, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum. This is a 180-degree shift from what was the policy under the Trump administration’s trade confrontation which was slowly yet steadily choking the Chinese economy and thwarting its shinanigans vis a vis technological theft.
In addition to this before the elections, Joe Biden had taken a very conservative approach when specifying the Indo-Pacific region. Trump had used the term “Free and Open Indo Pacific” to band US allies together for the containment of China. After the election, almost true to his words, Joe Biden has changed it to “Secure and Prosperous Indo Pacific”. The change is a signal to all the Indo-pacific states that Washington has a desire to engage Beijing for a peaceful and thriving Asia Pacific.
However, this is not it and Biden administration is sending clear signals to its allies to not act against China. Now, in another step towards kowtowing to the Chinese, Washington is reviewing the decision of Trump administration to term Chinese Communist Party’s actions against Uyghur as Genocide. This came at a time when Australia had just joined the USA and UK in warning firms about the use of products from China’s Xinjiang region in their global supply chains. The review of Trump’s policy at large and the specific sections on China, Biden administration is detaching the USA from the joint action of democracies to contain the rise of China.
All of these steps tend to direct towards a single conclusion, that is, Joe Biden and the Democrats would like to move away from its position of world leadership, even if it puts long-standing allies in compromising positions. It is giving free hand to the Chinese to run amok and do whatever it likes, while Washington will keep its eyes closed and shed away all the responsibilities.