Tribune. If there is one element of predictable continuity from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, it is the Chinese question. The tone and method will obviously be different from the chaotic mode of action of the incumbent president, but his kicking into the anthill of an overly conciliatory American ruling elite with the Communist rival will leave more than a mark in future relations between the United States. two countries.
By openly pointing the finger at the cheating and commercialism of Communist China, while occasionally praising its authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump has spoken freely and united Democrats and Republicans in new hostility to Beijing. Resonating as far as Brussels, where Commissioner Josep Borrell spoke of the naivety of Europeans, his abrasive style sounded the alarm.
Drawing lessons from the dialogue that the Bush Jr. team wanted to structure, the Obama presidency had already turned towards more firmness, by shifting the American military center of gravity towards the Pacific and by initiating a draft free treaty there. -exchange, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a vector of economic and normative influence.
But for the past four years, economic rivalry, especially around technologies like 5G, has intensified. The strategic rivalry in Asia-Pacific raises fears of growing risks of conflict by lack of consultation with the Chinese leaders. And like a natural who would come back at a gallop, the long ignored ideological confrontation is reinstalling itself, in the light of the scandalous events in Hong Kong, the threats to Taiwan, and the tightening of technological surveillance of civil society during the health crisis. .
For the Democrats who take the reins in Washington, the Sino-American antagonism will be as much an industrial and commercial battle as a political confrontation. The challenge is to make it a controlled confrontation to avoid any dramatic slippage.
A firm ideological approach against the state-party regime, but open economically to promote trade as fair as possible, against the Chinese competitive mode, would be relevant.
It would aim to encourage Beijing to carry out structural reforms towards more supervision and market transparency – for example in terms of intellectual property – which could benefit international operators present in China, while relaxing the tariff measures imposed on 360 billion goods. Chinese imported.
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