A week into Joe Biden’s presidency, the United States and China have already delivered significant signals that the two powers’ security relationship has undergone a dramatic shift since the former U.S. vice president’s last time in the White House — and that these changes are here to stay.
“What we’ve seen over the last few years is that China is growing more authoritarian at home and more assertive abroad,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week. “And Beijing is now challenging our security, prosperity and values in significant ways that require a new U.S. approach.”
Psaki said that, for now, the administration will approach Beijing with “patience” as it reviews its policy on China in consultation with allies. But signals from both Beijing and Washington are already pointing to a continued fraught relationship.
Sino-American ties plunged to historic lows under the administration of President Donald Trump, with the two clashing over trade, tech and Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the South and East China seas and over self-ruled Taiwan.