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The Quad Is a Delusion

5 2 0
28.06.2021

U.S. politics may be hyperpolarized, but on China policy, there’s considerable cross-party consensus. Republican and Democratic leaders increasingly see the country as the main threat to Pax Americana.

GOP hawk Sen. Tom Cotton warned China’s export controls on rare earth metals and military buildup reflect this ambition, a jeremiad echoed by the likes of Republican politicians Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney, and Marco Rubio. And although the right may paint Democrats as soft on China, the evidence suggests otherwise. U.S. President Joe Biden started rallying the United States’ Asian allies—Australia, Japan, and South Korea—to counter Beijing in the Indo-Pacific even before his inauguration, and he hasn’t let up. The president’s punitive economic measures, including bans on U.S. investments of 59 Chinese companies, mimic his predecessor’s. In May, Kurt Campbell, the National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific coordinator, declared “the period that was broadly defined as engagement has come to an end.” In all this, Biden is in step with his party. Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Beijing seeks “global dominance,” and a House Intelligence Committee report chided the intelligence community for not taking China’s challenge seriously enough. Meanwhile, the $250 billion United States Innovation and Competition Act introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer amounts to a multifaceted plan for containing China.

U.S. politics may be hyperpolarized, but on China policy, there’s considerable cross-party consensus. Republican and Democratic leaders increasingly see the country as the main threat to Pax Americana.

GOP hawk Sen. Tom Cotton warned China’s export controls on rare earth metals and military buildup reflect this ambition, a jeremiad echoed by the likes of Republican politicians Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney, and Marco Rubio. And although the right may paint Democrats as soft on China, the evidence suggests otherwise. U.S. President Joe Biden started rallying the United States’ Asian allies—Australia, Japan, and South Korea—to counter Beijing in the Indo-Pacific even before his inauguration, and he hasn’t let up. The president’s punitive economic measures, including bans on U.S. investments of 59 Chinese companies, mimic his predecessor’s. In May, Kurt Campbell, the National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific coordinator, declared “the period that was broadly defined as engagement has come to an end.” In all this, Biden is in step with his party. Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Beijing seeks “global dominance,” and a House Intelligence Committee report chided the intelligence community for not taking China’s challenge seriously enough. Meanwhile, the $250 billion United States Innovation and Competition Act introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer amounts to a multifaceted plan for containing China.

One specific facet of U.S. China policy that also blurs the Trump-Biden........

© Foreign Policy


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