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Biden’s Good Start on China by Chris Patten




With US President Joe Biden restoring US support for multilateralism and international partnerships, the world’s democracies should be better placed to end the bullying of Chinese governments. But China should be welcome when it is ready to be constructive on issues such as climate change and antimicrobial resistance.

LONDON The new administration of US President Joe Bidens has started to show its hand on its policy towards China. So far, three encouraging developments have emerged, suggesting that the United States will view the huge Leninist surveillance state not only as a competitor, but as a definite threat to all free societies.

To begin with, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Chinese Communist regime commit genocide against Muslim Uyghurs in northwestern Xinjiang province. Additionally, Bidens National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has highlighted China failure to cooperate fully with the World Health Organization mission investigating the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan and possibly elsewhere in the country. If the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has nothing to hide, why has it once again refused to be open about the source of the pandemic?

Finally, and most importantly, Biden himself has made it clear his determination to work with partners to tackle global issues. The CPC certainly falls into this category.

Despite the mercantilism of former US President Donald Trumps, Chinese President Xi Jinping would rather face a re-elected Trump than a US led by Biden. The reason is simple: the last thing China wants is for liberal democracies to come together to coerce its appalling behavior.

Instead, China wants to get rid of its critics one at a time. This is what he tried to do with Australia when the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrisons called for an independent investigation into the origins of the pandemic. With Biden restoring US support for multilateralism and international partnerships, democracies around the world should be in a better position to end the outrageous bullying of Chinese governments.

China will call such a coalition of liberal democracies an attempt to start a new cold war. It is none of those things. China has been the aggressor, and democracies should seek to curb its damaging and dangerous behavior. We have to stress the fact that the Chinese regime not only opposes the values ​​that underpin free societies, but is also completely untrustworthy, breaking its word whenever it suits Xi.

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The G7 summit in June would be a good forum to start building the partnership that a better international order needs. The UK will chair the meeting and should strive to show that it can still play a valuable international role, even after its damaging decision to leave the European Union.

G7 countries that the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan have invited India, Australia and South Korea to join this meeting, and I hope they will attend subsequent meetings as well. After all, what democracies have in common is that they protect themselves and other countries from threats and violations of international CCP rules.

This new G10 partnership is expected to discuss digital cooperation and collaboration in high-tech industries to avoid over-reliance on Chinese exports. And governments could share information on how best to combat Chinese espionage, intellectual property theft, and efforts to use research collaboration to steal knowledge useful to the Chinese military and its surveillance state.

A new G10, along with other countries as well, should work more closely within United Nations agencies such as WHO, as well as within human rights and development policy bodies. We must collectively point out when China attacks freedom, as it has so blatantly done in Hong Kong, or human life itself, as in Xinjiang.

Likewise, we should quietly tell Xi that we will not stand aside if China steps up its intimidation of Taiwan. While it would not be wise to question the one-China policy today, we should welcome more contacts with Taiwan and push to allow the island to take its place as an observer there. WHO Assembly. Taiwan is a vibrant democracy with an excellent public health record. Considering the significant financial contributions democracies are making to the WHO and Taiwanese ‘successful early detection of the pandemic in China, she deserves decent treatment by the organization.

G10 countries that are NATO members would also be wise to encourage the alliance, led by its secretary general, to develop political responses to China’s increasingly threatening behavior in the Indo-Pacific region.

Finally, although liberal democracies will not always have the same trade and investment priorities, they have a common interest in the World Trade Organization working effectively to ensure compliance with its agreed and justiciable rules. . The Biden administration could get a good start here by unblocking the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s appeals body, which adjudicates trade disputes between member countries.

It is hoped that EU member states will respond to such proposals by showing some recognition of the threat China poses to all of us. The recently signed EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement will bring little benefit to European economies. Moreover, some EU members are mistaken in thinking that the agreement will improve labor standards in China and also end forced labor there.

Unfortunately, European leaders in general, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular, are entrusting the development of a serious global role for Europe to the sales departments of Volkswagen and other major German automakers. I fear that as a result the EU will make serious geostrategic errors with regard to China and Russia. The Union certainly has an idea of ​​what its values ​​are meant to be.

Biden wants serious and committed partners not only to curb bad behavior from CPCs, but also to cooperate with China when it is ready to be constructive on issues such as climate change and antimicrobial resistance. Working together on these issues is of course in everyone’s interest. For global democracies, the same is true of where cooperation should end.

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