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  4. Opinion | Will Joe Biden's strong message to Xi Jinping tame the dragon?

Opinion | Will Joe Biden's strong message to Xi Jinping tame the dragon?

US President Joe Biden has fired a direct salvo at the Chinese President mincing no words.

Om Tiwari Edited by: Om Tiwari
New Delhi Updated on: February 10, 2021 13:44 IST
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Image Source : AP/PTI

US President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base.

US President Joe Biden seems to be practising what he has been preaching. At least now, in the case of China especially. He said he would not deal with China the way Trump did. Indeed. Donald Trump might have called Covid-19 a China virus umpteen times and warned the Chinese government at multiple occasions against its misadventures in the South China Sea, but his successor, Joe Biden, has fired a direct salvo at the Chinese President mincing no words. The repercussions of it, amid prevailing US-China tension, cannot be foretold, though Biden is no novice on foreign policy to have not measured them before speaking.

In a CBS interview clip aired on Sunday, the American President said his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping does not have a democratic bone in his body. Joe Biden said he is ready for extreme competition with China. He also made it clear that he has both experience and plan to tackle the dragon, so his method would be different. The US President said, 'I'm not going to do it the way Trump did. We are going to focus on the international rules of the road.'

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From starting as the sixth-youngest senator in American history at the age of 29 to taking oath as 46th President of the country at 78, Joe Biden has had a long exposure to politics and diplomacy. In the CBS interview also, he did not forget to remind about his tenure as the US vice president when he had numerous opportunities to know Xi Jinping better. 

'Jinping doesn't have a democratic bone in his body'

Taking a swipe at the Chinese Communist Party Chairman, Joe Biden explained, ‘I know him pretty well. He’s very bright and he’s very tough and – I don’t mean it as a criticism it’s just a reality – he doesn’t have a democratic – small D - bone in his body.’

The remarks came in the backdrop of an unprecedented hostility developing between the two countries. After Trump's departure, China recently amped up its military activity around Taiwan, in return the Biden administration sent a guided-missile destroyer. The first time a US warship entered Taiwan Strait separating China and Taiwan. Xi Jinping’s foreign policy aide Yang Jiechi blamed Washington for deterioration of bilateral relations in his first telephonic call with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He gave the US stern message to correct its mistakes.

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The tension reflected in US President Joe Biden’s comments also when he revealed, in the CBS interview, that he has a lot to talk about with Xi Jinping. He said, ‘We need not have a conflict, but there is going to be extreme competition.’

Interestingly, Biden confirmed that he has not yet spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping since assuming charge as the US President on 20 January.

Won't deal with China the way Trump did: Biden

Foreign policy experts believe Biden’s approach could be different from Trump's, but the US is not likely to loosen its tough stance on China. By focusing on the international rules of the road, Joe Biden meant he will take his own time in bringing the US allies closer and mount a concerted pressure on China to mend its ways. 

Perhaps this is the ‘position of strength’ he talked about addressing the State Department employees on Thursday. Joe Biden said, ‘We will confront China's economic abuses, counter its aggressive, coercive action to push back on its attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance. We will compete from a position of strength by building back better at home and working with our allies and partners.’

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV) 

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