Don’t expect US-China relations to improve under a President Biden

Don’t expect US-China relations to improve under a President Biden

  • A new US administration under former Vice President Joe Biden may take a different strategic approach toward China, but the overall relationship between the countries would not fundamentally change.

As the US heads toward its November elections, Republicans and Democrats are pitching two distinct visions of America. Except when it comes to China.

The proposed 90-page Democratic Party platform contains passages that echo some of the rhetoric that has defined the attacks on China made by President Donald Trump’s administration even as it criticizes the “reckless” trade war it started with China more than two years ago.

The Democratic platform, crafted as a statement of the agenda of the party and its presidential nominee, Joe Biden, “lambasts the Trump administration’s handling of China in all issue arenas: trade, human rights, national security, public health and so on,” said Allen Carlson, director of Cornell University’s China and Asia-Pacific studies program.

But, Carlson said, the platform “does not in any meaningful way diverge from the Republicans’ critical assessment of China: that it is a country whose rise under [Chinese President Xi Jinping] poses a stark challenge to the United States.”