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2021: America, China and Southeast Asia | World

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That is forecast of the prestigious British magazine The Economist. The following views are those of international relations experts, do not necessarily reflect the views of Tien Phong.

US-China relations will to be like in 2021?

Biden is not expected to be in no hurry to overturn any of Donald Trump’s China policies. Photo: Foreign Policy

Over the past four years, Chinese officials have consistently complained that President Donald Trump is an unpredictable bully, sometimes guided by his own interests, but at other times rooted in anti-Chinese adviser. A leaked diplomatic note quoted President Xi Jinping complaining to European guests that relations with the US were like a “boxing match without rules”. President-elect Joe Biden’s group wants the fight to be more orderly, less openly ideological, and more challenging for China. As if planning the return of a heavyweight champion, Democrats want to see a more resilient, smarter America that chooses matches against China, then. Work hard to win.

A cautious China will try to alleviate the tension but not the delusion of completely re-establishing relationships. It won’t go back to the days before 2016, when the US presidents of both major parties argued that engagement could make China open its economy – and perhaps society – to the world. Instead, Mr. Biden will offer another criticism of Mr Trump: that, while acting quite “wild” against an assertive China of the Xi era, Mr. Trump was unable to deliver assertive attacks. concentration.

Although Mr. Biden often favors free trade agreements during his four decades in the Senate, he leads an ever more skeptical Democratic Party of globalization. As vice president, Mr. Biden fosters free trade alliances designed to counter China’s mercantilist line, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As president, Mr. Biden is in no hurry to enter into any such pact.

China will see some changes for them as pleasant. The Biden White House will be staffed by mainstream economists who believe imposing trade tariffs is primarily self-harming. They also see a serious risk of using the dollar-denominated financial system as a tool to contain China – the enticing game of several senior aides next to Mr. Trump. The doors of the Biden-era Oval Office will open wider for Silicon Valley tech owners. They will beg the government for more consideration in claiming that certain high-tech products and supply chains pose a threat to national security and must not be related to China.

A more technologically savvy Biden administration, however, would make China more difficult. Mr. Biden will call on the US to maintain the underlying technology dominance of the future over China, from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, with large investments in basic science. He would worry less than before things like TikTok.

Hedging, balancing and zoning is based on one big assumption: neither the US nor China really intend to completely separate their economies. It’s a gamble, though, and other risks are lurking. Equally important is maintaining the solidarity of ASEAN. Perhaps the most frightening risk is an unintended clash between China and the US in the East Sea.

Asean stuck

No region in the world risks the consequences of economic, strategic, and military competition between the US and China more than 11 Southeast Asian nations. And that competition will increase in 2021.

On the one hand, many in the region are wary of President Xi Jinping’s mission to regain China the central position it enjoyed in East Asia before being ousted by the West and Japan in the century. 19 and 20. It is not just that China is aggressively challenging the maritime and territorial claims of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea, where much of China’s sea trade flows. pass. It is also Mr. Xi’s call for “Asians to run Asian affairs”. A Chinese foreign minister once said at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): “China is a big country and you are small countries, and that is a fact”.

2021: America, China and Southeast Asia - photo 2
Peace in the East Sea is especially important to the people of Southeast Asia. In the photo: Filipino fishermen are concerned about the clashes at sea with China that threaten their pieces of rice. Photo: NYT

On the other hand, while most ASEAN members applauded the United States as the dominant military power in the region to counter China’s growing power, they knew that conflict would be catastrophic for them. Southeast Asian diplomats have not loudly cheered for the Donald Trump administration’s anti-China rhetoric, which has been hard to soften much under Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, China is Southeast Asia’s largest trading partner and the second largest investor, after Japan. ASEAN’s prosperity is tied to China as well as its supply chains. And as Sebastian Strangio, a keen observer, points out in his book In the Dragon’s Shadow, Southeast Asia is associated with China’s growth and stability and vice versa. re: historically, turmoil in China has caused instability to spread southward.

So how to not get stuck between two giants? The region’s strategists remind themselves that, when great powers confront, things get worse.

For 2021, the ASEAN region’s experience in managing great power competition will stand out. Bilahari Kausikan, formerly Singapore’s top diplomat, argues that the approach for small countries will be “barrier, balance and synergy”. International relations students are often taught that it is only possible to take one of these three approaches at any given time. However, Mr. Kausikan argues, pragmatic Southeast Asians have a knack for doing all three of these. One example is in 2021: The Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte will continue to attract Chinese investment, while expecting a rapid improvement in its tense military relations with the United States. Southeast Asia by 2021 will also do more to invite other powers, especially Japan, South Korea, Australia and India, to share both prosperity and security in the region.

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