Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but Coherent Visions

“Trumpism without Trump” is what Beijing calls the Chinese policy of the Biden administration. For once, Global Times, spokesperson for the Communist Party of China, is right.

Surprisingly, most of Biden’s national security team follow the fundamental direction of the Chinese policies of the Trump administration. Although Biden’s list includes personnel who served during the 16 Bill clintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson Clinton Why Democrats’ $ 500 Billion Reconciliation Bill is a Losing Game Death of a Legend: Edwin Edwards of Louisiana Did Not Stoop to Racism No Reason to Fill Court MORE and Barack obamaBarack Hussein ObamaBeginning of the end for DACA; Federal Judge Says “Stop” Jan. 6 Uprising Turned Into Racist Relapse Obama Calls On Congress To Find A Permanent Solution For Dreamers Following Federal Judge’s Decision MORE years, the policies Beijing complains about were put in place during Donald Trump’s single tenure.

Yet it is difficult to discern this reality as both sides offer minimal and reluctant credit to their political rivals for being on the same political wavelength. It seems only Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his underlings recognize the continuity of Trump’s Biden policy – and they don’t like it at all.

They surely had different expectations when the coronavirus they originally called the “Wuhan virus” and “Wuhan pneumonia” hit the United States, halted Trump’s business momentum, devastated the American economy by booming and helped to ensure Joe bidenJoe Biden Aides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him the wrong time to prepare for the Trump debate: Biden book says Eid al-Adha has “special significance” amid the Manchin pandemic to support the candidate for the post of head of public lands PLUSthe victory of. Chinese leaders believed the new president would show some appreciation and follow his natural inclinations of accommodation towards China.

Instead, the Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenGloria Estefan Says US Should Get Involved in Cuba Passport Backlog Threatens to Disrupt Travel Plans of Millions of Americans Protesters Paint “Cuba Libre” in Street Outside Cuban Embassy in DC MORE and national security adviser Jake sullivanJake SullivanPoutin escapes blame for chemical weapons use Japan and US are still working out their Sino-Taiwanese policies on Sunday preview: Biden defends troop withdrawal from Afghanistan; COVID-19 impacts unvaccinated pockets PLUS adopted a more hard-line, values-based approach, consistent with the policies pursued by officials in the Trump administration. As Trump focused on critical trade talks with China, he empowered his team to advance equally ambitious national security and human rights goals.

As a former vice-president Mike penceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump: Washington / Lincoln ticket would have struggled to beat me before pandemic The Hill’s Morning Report – Spike in COVID-19 infections threatens United States, Olympics Pence refused to leave Capitol during the riot: book MORE told the Heritage Foundation last week: “The new US administration must stay the course, stay on the course we have charted:… based on realism and recognition of the challenge facing China… even as we move forward. hand to China in the hope that Beijing will return… with renewed respect for America.

But the hope that the Communist government will change its fundamental nature – which Richard Nixon also expressed when he “opened China to the world and opened the world to China” – remains unfulfilled after half a century. Instead, as Pence put it, “we are facing today … what may well be an emerging cold war with China.”

To confront this economic, military and ideological adversary, Pence said, America must be united: “Our elected leaders must build on the progress of the Trump-Pence administration… to verify the ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party.

Certainly, the Biden administration should recognize and embrace the initial success of its immediate predecessors in reversing decades of bipartisan mismanagement of US-China relations, while picking up where it left off. But Trump administration veterans and their supporters must also recognize and credit the Biden team for primarily refusing to revert to the failed Clinton-Bush-Obama engagement policies, as many had feared.

Pence noted that the Biden Group, led by Blinken and Sullivan, and the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine taiKatherine TaiCongress and the European Parliament must work together to counter China Good riddance? The Fast Lane Fades The Hill 12:30 PM Report – Featured By Goldman Sachs – Barr Ruffles Feathers Over Book Excerpt MORE, “maintained some of our administration’s strict policies towards China – for example, tariffs [Biden] who campaigned against in 2020, so far, remain in place. But he also observed that phase 1 of the trade deal must be followed to pressure China for economic and political reforms.

When Pence called for the creation of a US-Taiwan trade deal – which the Trump administration has postponed until it concludes the original deal with China – he may have noted that Tai had already started. this process.

Pence also doesn’t mention Biden administration advancing former secretary of state Mike PompeoMike PompeoOvernight Defense: Milley reportedly warned Trump against Iranian strikes | Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan | 70% of active duty military have at least partially vaccinated General Milley warned Trump against possible Iranian strikes: “You are going to have a f —— war” Pompeo in 2024: “I want to continue to have an impact ‘MOREthe rise of quasi-official relations with Taiwan. Together, the approach of the Trump and Biden administrations effectively constitutes a One China, One Taiwan policy – despite Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell’s gratuitous take-up of Clinton’s warning, “We do not support independence.” of Taiwan ”.

The Navy under Biden continues to expand freedom of navigation operations and Taiwan Strait transits. But neither administration deigned to send an aircraft carrier task force across the strait – only two did so in 48 years, the last in 2007 under George W. Bush and his Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. – while China regularly sends its aircraft carriers to these international waters. and claims the strait as its own territorial sea.

Pence said, “I call on the Biden administration to increase the number of Chinese companies banned from US investment by at least an order of magnitude.” In June, the administration did just that by adding 59 Chinese companies to the list of 26 initially banned under Trump.

Pence advocates several other initiatives that the Biden team would be well advised to adopt, such as insisting that the Securities and Exchange Commission de-list Chinese companies that flout the transparency and accountability requirements that U.S. companies must meet. Most importantly, Pence urges Biden to honor the enhanced Trump-level defense budget to address China’s security challenges in the South and East China Seas, in Taiwan and elsewhere. Defense cuts explain why Pence says, “China feels a weakness in this new administration.”

In 1994, two years after the start of the Clinton administration, then-United Nations Ambassador Madeleine Albright was asked how long her boss could continue to blame Bush for the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Bosnia. . She conceded that “the limitation period is about to expire”. On the other hand, Biden’s diplomatic and national security team may wish an end to Trump-Biden China political comparisons so that they can be judged on their own merits.

But after Trump’s momentous inflection point on relations with China, Biden or any president will inevitably be judged by what they do with the challenge and opportunity presented by this historic moment.

Biden can set his own standard if he takes two critical steps as a natural culmination of the transformational measures started under Trump and mostly pursued by his administration, neither of which was on Pence’s to-do list for Biden. First, to deter a fatal strategic miscalculation by China, Washington must make it clear that it will militarily defend Taiwan against any Chinese attack or coercion. The “catastrophic” consequences for China would not be confined to the realm of reputation and diplomacy, as Campbell recently seemed to suggest.

Second, the Biden administration, playing on its own claim to superior multilateral and human rights credentials, must lead the kind of global effort for regime change in China that Pompeo has suggested in a speech at the Nixon Library a year ago: “Secretary-General Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever, unless we allow it. … [C]hang on [Chinese Communist Party’s] behavior cannot be the mission of the Chinese people alone. Free nations must work to defend freedom.

If Biden’s team rises to this titanic challenge and contributes to China’s rendezvous with democracy, he will stand alongside Ronald Reagan in the pantheon of American and global achievement.

Joseph Bosco was National Director of China for the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and Asia-Pacific Director of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief from 2009 to 2010. He is a non-resident researcher at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and member of the Advisory Board of the Global Taiwan Institute. Follow him on twitter @BoscoJosephA.

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