U.S. efforts to contain China to continue under Biden: scholars

Taipei,  The United States’ ongoing efforts to contain China and its bipartisan support for Taiwan during Donald Trump’s administration will likely continue in Joe Biden’s presidency, analysts said Monday in Taipei.

Speaking at a seminar on the U.S. under Biden, Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said the pro-Taiwan consensus shared by the Democratic and Republican parties should continue in the coming four years.

During the Barack Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president, the Democratic Party advocated a “Pivot to Asia policy” that involved deepening U.S. alliances with Asian-Pacific allies.

During the Trump administration, the U.S.’ strategy in the Asia-Pacific was repackaged as the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” but kept its focus on alliances with regional partners, Su said.

Given China’s ongoing expansionism, the relationship between the U.S. and China has undergone fundamental change, and there is no turning back from the rivalry between the world’s two major powers, Su argued.

Thus, the Biden administration will continue to see China as a major rival and maintain the same goal of its predecessor — to contain Chinese expansionism — Su said.

If there is a difference, Biden will likely tone down the hawkish rhetoric of the Trump administration against Beijing and use different tactics, according to Su.

He said Biden is likely to have the U.S. re-engage with the world after four years of retreat and work closely with global partners through existing security mechanisms such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the Five Power Defense Arrangements, and the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to counter China militarily.

Echoing Su, Sung Wen-ti (宋文笛), a visiting fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World at Australian National University, said at the seminar that the U.S.-China rivalry will remain even after Biden takes office.

The main difference, he said, is that Biden will revert back to a traditional multilateral approach to foreign policy and work closely with allies, he said.

By ditching the unilateralism of the Trump administration, Biden’s White House will return to an emphasis on international cooperation, which will benefit a Taiwan that wants a bigger presence in international arenas, Sung said.

Sung also said he expected to see a number of officials who served during the Obama years to be part of Biden’s administration.

They include Antony Blinken, ex-deputy secretary of State; Michele Flournoy, former under secretary of defense for policy; and Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, among others.

Monday’s seminar was organized by a local think tank, the Institute for National Policy Research.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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