Participants generally believed that (in the short term) Biden would continue to take a hard line with China. “But the style will change,” said Dina McCormick, Global Director of Sustainable and Inclusive Growth at Goldman Sachs. “In the medium to long term… Biden will choose a more cooperative stance towards China on matters such as climate change and vaccine distribution with a view to (the U.S.) gain more influence in areas where it hopes to compete more fiercely with China”.
Sym Sykes, a researcher on cybersecurity policy and China’s digital economy at the new American think tank, said it’s important not to focus only on the U.S. and China: “the tech competition between the two countries is increasingly taking place elsewhere in the world.”
Describing the current state of the U.S.-China rivalry, Jianlu Mai, chairman of Greater China at Encore Consulting, said, “It’s the U.S. underperforming vs. China gaining too much traction.” Faiza Said, chief partner of the U.S. law firm CravathSwaine & Moore, said, “Western democracies had thought that opening up to China would change China, but what they have seen over the last 20 years is that they have been changed a lot. All forces are eroding Western societies, but it’s not China’s fault. China has been focused on its own development, autonomy and independence”.
After being allowed to hold majority stakes in joint ventures in China, giants such as Blackstone and Goldman Sachs have expanded their stakes in China. Mai Jianlu said that while Beijing allows them to do so, they may have other motives: to build a multi-level diplomatic relationship between China and the United States in the future. “The Chinese know that the financial services industry is the industry with the most powerful political power in the United States. The company has a small market share, and the latter will tell the regulator in Washington, “Don’t do anything against China, because it will hurt our market share”.
Another article in America’s “Boston Herald” article by Jonah Goldberg of December 19, titled: Cold War practices are not working for China. Many U.S. diplomats, military generals and political figures are now inclined to believe that a new era of confrontation with China has begun, calling for a Cold War approach. But we need to dispel this common misconception.
It is certainly true that China is an adversary, but not an ideological competitor in the way that the Soviet Union was. To a large extent, China can be understood as having a more nationalistic orientation with some elements of elite rule. This presents a set of challenges that cannot be reconciled with the Cold War. The Communist Party’s strength is that it has indeed created prosperity. The U.S. needs to contain China from becoming a superpower, but it will be difficult to do so as it did in the last Cold War
(translated by Cui Xiaodong)