This TIME article perfectly illustrates why I have been worried about what a Biden presidency means for US China policy.

I expect to see more Very Serious People writing pieces in Very Important Media about America's need to return to engagement with China.

A thread:
The article starts by casting doubt on Trump's policy of blaming China for the Coronavirus pandemic, IP theft, opioid addiction, spying, military aggression, etc.

As if either a) Trump is the reason China was doing these things or b) Trump's tendency to blame China is bogus.
China has been building and militarizing islands in the South China Sea. They were particularly active in this pursuit from 2013 – 2015, predating Trump.
These problems are real. Dismissing them as a “boogeyman” invented by Trump ignores reality.

But it appears that the PR campaign to convince the American populace that the US is in the wrong has already begun.

Because then business can go back to normal.
The first person quoted in this article is the translator for “reformist” Deng Xiaoping who, oh yeah, ordered the massacre of thousands of students in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

And of course he pays homage to benefitting mankind as a whole, Xi Jinping’s favorite catch phrase.
Trumps lack of decency does not make China’s problematic behavior less problematic. Biden’s decency does not (and did not from 2008-2016) make China into a better actor on the world stage.

Also, lol to all the people who say China prefers a Trump presidency.

cc @nickkristof
China is more protectionist over its markets than the US ever has or ever will be. Quoting Xi uncritically is journalistic malpractice.

China wants access to your market but wants to restrict your access to its own. Plain and simple.
Ah, yes, rules-based trade relations! Because China has been so great at following global rules.

China follows no rules. Not the UNCLOS ruling on international borders at sea, not their treaty with the UK over Hong Kong, not with their incessant forced technology transfers.
You can make all the rules you want, and you can follow them. You can lead by example. That does not mean China will follow them.

In the eyes of China’s leadership, you are naively weakening your position while they look for opportunities to out-maneuver you.
Another instance of “promises made and absolutely not delivered.” But THIS time is going to be DIFFERENT. These bankers sound like someone who has lost at the roulette table and is certain that the big win is right around the corner.
Cooperate with China on climate change, who is the world’s largest polluter – not yet per capita, but quickly catching up as the rural population continues to urbanize. If you’ve ever eaten delivery in China, you’ll now that they use more plastic than you can fathom.
And yet somehow they are on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Ask HK how well Beijing respects long-term agreements.

China did not "recast" itself as anything. They have changed their PR and the author of this article buys it hook, line, and sinker.
The People’s Republic of China has been picking a fight with America since 1949. Trying to blame this all on Trump’s querulousness is facile.
Not related to China, but oooooohhh, the elusive “Asia expert.” I'm still hoping to meet one in the wild someday.

Being an “expert” in a region that encompasses more than half the world’s population and nearly 50 countries is a bit silly. But then again, so is this article.
If in your worldview it's the US that has an ideological beef with China and not the other way around, you might be blind. Or too young too simple. Or you’re a foreign journalist living in China whose ability to work in the country depends on treading a bit too carefully.
We already realize that American-run social media networks pose a problem to society. Watch the Social Dilemma if you haven’t already.

Why would we not think it problematic that the most popular social networking site among young Americans is beholden to the CCP?
Yes, because China’s military uses foreign technology. We should not sell them things that would advantage them in a military conflict.
Of course there was retaliation. The goal is to force decoupling so that US businesses stop funding the regime that poses the greatest threat to America in the 21st century.
Again, of course there was a retaliatory closure of a US embassy in China. That would have been a foreseen consequence. The goal is to decouple.
This is not a one way street. If you want to see an example of China undermining US foreign policy, look up the Korean War.
The above is a kind of BS argument that treats the Chinese leaders as children or idiots: “They are only mean to us because they think we want to be mean to them!”

The CCP’s goal is global dominance. This is the goal, whether you’re nice to them or not.
Ditching the TPP was a bad idea. I hope Biden revives this. Kudos to the author for making a good point.
Somehow the author decides to make his first mention of China’s obvious economic coercion and malfeasance ~85% of the way through the article.
And does so without mentioning the US (because remember, the souring US-China relations are all America’s fault).
Overall, I worry that the American public will be led back to a state of pre-Trump complacency with respect to the US-China relationship, which will pave the way for easy short-term wins for Biden that negatively affect the economic and military security of the US long-term.
For example, Biden will likely cancel Trump’s “trade war” (in quotations because this trade war was started by Beijing decades ago). Why? Because nobody likes it in the short term. Farmers, businesspeople, banksters, consultants. Nobody. Beijing would certainly welcome this.
When America’s most influential media outlets are more eager to paint Biden in an appealing light relative to Trump than they are to accept the bitter realities of US-China conflict, more articles like this will follow.

You can follow @kevinonchina.
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