Biden's China Policy is...Still Incoherent
The contradictions were predictable. In fact, I predicted them.
Before Biden was even president, way back in August 2020, I was asked to write a piece for Foreign Policy about the hawk-y blandness of Biden’s China policy.
At that point, it was hard to find anyone willing to be an honest critic of what Team Biden was saying about China, because
the entire system is corrupt everyone was broadly cut from the same liberal internationalist ideology (which makes grounds for critique exceedingly narrow and boring). Also, all the pundits I knew were hoping to serve in a future Biden administration and were not about to diss the main alternative to Trump.
The piece was called, "Biden's China Policy Can't Help But Be Incoherent." I caught some shit for it at the time from my Team Biden friend network.
But I was reminded of it when I saw a tweet by Bill Bishop of Sinocism, quizzically highlighting the incoherence of some of the recent China-related messaging coming out of the
Obama Biden administration.
Bill is referring to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent comments about China—something I already flagged:
When I wrote the 2020 Foreign Policy piece, I was aware of the ideological makeup and career incentives of the people staffing Biden during the 2020 campaign. On those grounds, it was easy for me to predict that Biden would end up getting pulled in competing directions on China policy.
Let’s look briefly at what I said and then compare that to where we’re at now…