Biden sets tone for US-China ties, says coalition needed to confront Beijing

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President-elect Joe Biden announces Cabinet nominees on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Joshua Lott

Setting the tone for the US-China ties for the next four years, President-elect Joe Biden on Monday said that Washington needs to build a coalition of like-minded nations to confront Beijing.
“As we compete with China to hold China’s government accountable for its trade abuses, technology, human rights and other fronts, our position would be much stronger when we build coalitions of like-minded partners and allies that make common cause with us in defence of our shared interests and our shared values,” Biden said following his briefing with national security and foreign policy agency review team members.

Under the Donald Trump administration, ties between the two countries had deteriorated over issues such as human rights violations in Xinjiang, encroachment on the special status of Hong Kong, accusations of unfair trade practices by Beijing, lack of transparency concerning the pandemic and China’s military aggression in various parts of the world.

Biden said partnering with other democracies on China would “more than double” the US economic leverage over the country.

“We are almost 25 per cent of the global economy on our own, but together with our democratic partners, we more than double our economic leverage,” he said.

On any issue that matters to the US-China relationship, Biden said, “We are stronger and more effective when we are flanked by nations that share our vision for the future of our world.”

In a bid to meet the security challenges against China and Russia, Biden said the US must make reforms to put itself in the strongest possible position.

“That includes modernizing our defense priorities to better deter aggression in the future, rather than continuing to over-invest in legacy systems designed to address the threats of the past,” the President-elect said.

“And we need to close the gap between where our capabilities are now and where they need to be to better deter, detect, disrupt, and respond to these sorts of intrusions in the future,” Biden added.

Biden is set to occupy the White House in January next year.

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