China’s President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, December 10, 2018. (Fred Dufour/Reuters) Biden wanted competition and cooperation, but he can’t get both.
NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE L ast night’s call between President Biden and Xi Jinping, their second conversation since Biden took office, might foreshadow an easing of the still-hawkish U.S. policy toward China. And not because Washington succeeded in pressuring Beijing to change its ways.
Since taking office, Biden pledged to implement a strategy that blends competition and cooperation; his administration later added confrontation, where necessary, as a pillar of that doctrine. Early on in the administration, all of this amounted to a continuation of the Trump administration’s tough line, with the major exception being climate envoy John Kerry’s talks with his Chinese counterpart. But every indication …
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