Brief: Biden’s China Strategy Is Taking Shape

It’s easier said than done.

Background: The U.S. is virtually unmatched in its military, economic and diplomatic power, but over the past five years or so, it’s had to confront the limits of its might as it tries to pressure China into doing things it doesn’t want to do. As often as not, pushing China too far goes against Washington’s own interests. The U.S.-China trade war, U.S. naval operations in the East and South China seas, and inconsistent efforts to keep friends and allies from drifting into China’s orbit illustrate as much. The U.S. is now attempting to formulate a new, more comprehensive, more coherent strategy for competing with China on multiple fronts. What Happened: On Thursday, after a two-hour call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. President Joe Biden couched his infrastructure spending plans in strategic terms, declaring that China is going to “eat our lunch.” This is some crafty messaging meant to drum up the political will needed to overcome Washington’s longstanding struggles with major infrastructure buildouts. But it is indeed a strategic issue. Meanwhile, the U.S. is ramping up targeted measures to limit exports of sensitive technologies that could empower China’s own tech sector, as well as the People’s Liberation Army. The […]

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