Biden’s China policy is ‘old wine in a new bottle’? That’s just one description by China’s micro-bloggers

While President Biden is still forming his China policy, we can see it taking shape in various ways:

At the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 19, President Biden said,“…we must prepare together for a long-term strategic competition with China.” “Competition with China is going to be stiff,” and “We have to push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion.”

On diplomatic front and national security, Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed with his predecessor Mike Pompeo that China committed genocide against the Uighurs while National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed doubt that China had made available sufficient original data on the pandemic.

When asked “How do you feel about the Biden administration's stance toward China?” as a poll on Feb. 22 did, nearly 4-in-10 Americans said Biden’s China policy was not strong enough.

For people in China, however, it is totally a different story. There is a sense of disappointment among the netizens there that Biden is continuing much of Trump’s China policy.

A keyword search of “Biden China Policy” brought up 29 pages of posts, including the following comments from recent days:

Yan Xuetong:  A new China Daily editorial says that Biden administration gives little reason for optimism and that Biden's China policy smacks of Trumpism. Question 1. Is the prediction that Biden’s China policy will be less confrontational based on logic or expectations? Question 2. Is the belief that Biden’s multilateralism will be easier to deal with than Trump’s unilateralism based on content or form of policy?

Knight of int’l relations:  Biden’s main task before 2022 mid-term election is domestic agenda. China issue could be a bargaining chip with the Republicans. A simple way might be making an adjustment to the framework of Trump’s “strategic competition” with China, like increasing contact with China in areas of overlapping interests, without fundamentally changing the strategy on China. But we must also see that Biden’s China policy will restore some rationality and reduce uncertainty. This ushers in a window of opportunity for Sino-U.S. relations.

Zou Guo:  After the American devil Trump came to power, all the evil tricks of containment, suppression, damage, and destruction of China’s development started. After Biden came to power, even without him endorsing all the Trump policies, those of containment, suppression, damage, and destruction of China have been inherited and maintained. Therefore, Sino-U.S. relations cannot return to earlier cooperation and friendship. The responsibility is not China’s. American devils have the responsibility and obligation to remove various man-made obstacles.

Meet in water-like space:  Sino-U.S. relations are positioned this way: One, competitor, not friend. Two, fierce competition, not orderly competition. Three, intense competition, not easy competition. Four, competition to curb China, not benefit China.

Global tales:  Since coming onto the stage, Biden may have abolished a series of policies of the Trump administration, he has stayed in the same lane with Trump in terms of China strategies. As president, Biden has called on allies to be tough on China and tried to win them over to form an anti-China alliance. Besides, judging from recent trends there, the U.S. seems to want to escalate the tech war with China.

A determined lever:  Trump stepped down and Biden took the office, but U.S. China policy does not look optimistic as expected. Pay attention those friends engaged in export business. Stop using “LED Light” Flashlight” or various product names with “Light.” U.S. is madly seizing all lighting products from China…

Ping Zhenghe 01:  Biden has been in power for over a month now and his China policy thinking is becoming more and more clear. Compared with the Trump administration, Biden’s China policy has shown “one change, six un-changes” as follows. For details, see my article.

Six un-changes: economic and trade sanctions; Quad in Indo-Pacific; military pressure in South China Sea; support for Taiwan self-defense; pressure on human rights; cooperation in climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, pandemic control, etc.

One change: The biggest change in U.S. China policy from Trump to Biden is that Trump was fighting alone while Biden is waging group fight.

Journalist Wang Guan:  China has called on the U.S. to “give up three things:” unreasonable tariffs, sanctions against Chinese companies, and pressure against Chinese tech. The White House responded, but without much substance. Looks like they need to stabilize domestically before “repelling internationally.” For Biden, the mess worth a pile of headaches left by the predecessor needs to be handled. For China policy, he is probably still thinking and pondering hard.

leezhenhai66448:  Up till now, Biden has been hesitant in terms of China policy, showing both good will and caution. This means that even if Biden will not be fully hostile in his China policy like Trump, he will also not return to Obama years.

Tao Yongyi:  After reading the G7 statement, I got a deeper understanding of what it means in the sentence “not subject to human will.” Biden’s general tone of his China policy, that is engaging together with allies “long-term and intense strategic competition” with China, could have been the tone set for G7. Without Russia, G7 is simply a natural basecamp for an anti-China alliance. However, Merkel expressed at the press conference that the pandemic proved that countries of the world had to rely on each other, etc. Feels like the plot didn’t go according to U.S. wishes and choreography. The statement said instead, G7 would make 2021 the turning point towards multilateralism. 

Read something positive everyday:  During the U.S. presidential election last year, many were thinking that once in office Biden would implement a pro-China strategy. The reality is that he has basically inherited the Trump China policy. In addition, he threatened to prepare together with Europe long-term strategic competition with China. As he said himself, “America is back, transatlantic alliance is back.” Today’s America wants to unite with its many allies to strengthen its own world supremacy. Its ambition is clear. At present, it looks like Biden will likely create a “new model cold war.”

Lu Xiaozhou:  When Biden was first elected U.S. president, many in China cheered left and right on their knees, thinking that from then on, China and the U.S. would forget their earlier resentment and forgive each other, make up, resume their Mandarin ducks dream and husband wife harmony.

I said again and again that Biden would not give up Trump’s China policy, as it was the most powerful card Trump had got for the U.S. How could Biden waste it? Biden will certainly play the card to its extreme. That is to say that Biden will wage trade war with one hand and ideological war with the other, with the two hands coordinating and supporting each other.

With Trump on the stage, we needed only to deal with his trade war. With Biden, we will have to fight on two fronts, which would be much harder.

Conscientious Chinese son and daughter:  Biden has been in office over a month now.  His China policy is basically clear, which is neither warm nor hot, seeking to contain China with rules. The United States and its allies share one common belief: they will never allow a country with different values to rise. The American superpower cannot be challenged. Once the position of American superpower is lost, the entire world order will be challenged.

Panda loves English:  China urges the U.S. not to “lose the tree for the branch” or “put old wine in a new bottle” on China policy.

Bear man’s things_level G1:  Biden administration’s China policy is “changing the water but not the herbs” and Biden could become another Trump!