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Former Vice President Joe Biden has developed in image in the conservative media of being a puppet of the Chinese government and the latest demand from China is not going to help end that notion.
Biden is regarded as a globalist, a far cry from President Donald Trump’s America first strategy, and the Chinese now long for a return to the era of former President Obama and Biden where they were seen as the dominant force in Asia and the United States minded its business.
Now The Global Times, China’s state run media, has demanded that Biden go back to the Beijing first days of the Obama administration.
The Obama administration coined the new term: rebalance to Asia-Pacific, a strategy that targets China, as he noted in his latest presidential memoir. The TPP that he initiated is also a key part of this strategy. However, the largest pillar of the idea of Asia-Pacific concept is still APEC, which holds annual summit and talks about cooperation. It largely balances US geopolitical maneuvers in the region. Therefore, people can feel more the constructive side about the “Asia-Pacific” concept.
By contrast, the term of “Indo-Pacific” has been very rudely transformed into a geopolitical concept by the Trump administration. Though the term is often put after an adjective of “free and open,” it is mostly used for China-targeted issues. The backbone of the Indo-Pacific concept is the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Japan, India and Australia. Whenever they hold meetings or conduct military exercises, all media reports relate the events to China. There is no economic cooperation organization corresponding to “Indo-Pacific,” but only the military exercises and intelligence cooperation agreements that have played a role among the four countries. Taiwan authorities have repeatedly vowed to become part of the “Indo-Pacific strategy,” showing naked antagonistic ambitions.
By forcibly replacing the term “Asia-Pacific” with the term “Indo-Pacific” over the past few years, Washington has sought to divide the region, promote an anti-China alliance, and create a geopolitical climate in which all countries in the region must take sides. Except for a few forces willing to follow the US in order to increase their regional presence, most countries are very resistant to the pressure to take sides. They do not want to see the situation in the region evolve like this.
Another story in The Global Times article published Wednesday demanded that Biden back away from President Trump’s support of Taiwan and go back to the old “status quo” of “strategic ambiguity,” which essentially means that the United States would go back to supporting Taiwan via lip service but not actually do anything to help the nation.
“Judging from its policy orientation, Biden’s team does not approve of the Trump administration’s approach of frequently irritating China with high profile stunts that use Taiwan as a strategic chess piece. It prefers to maintain a relatively balanced situation across the Taiwan Straits. If the Biden administration moves from the policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ to ‘strategic clarity’ and unilaterally expresses its clear assistance in defending Taiwan, it will undoubtedly create major tensions and turbulence across the Taiwan Straits. This will hinder the US from playing an ‘offshore balancing’ act,” it said.
“An important consideration for the U.S.’ insistence on ‘strategic ambiguity’ is to avoid sending signals to Taiwan that the US will defend it unconditionally. To a certain extent, it restrains the ‘secessionist forces’ in Taiwan from promoting separatist activities. This is done in order to prevent the U.S. from becoming involved in a conflict or war against China,” it said.