Sat. May 18th, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

September 10, 2023

It is nice to hear directly from President Biden on China. Biden’s challenge is that he speaks frankly overseas, but his messages are quite different when he is at home. He also sounds like he only speaks for himself rather than for the US as a nation. Specifically, the US Congress and military have a very different view on China in contrast to Biden. Yet, President Biden hardly comments on their opinions or actions. Even in general terms, Biden does not seem to engage the Republicans and does not manage the bi-partisan split at all. As a specific case in mind, the US faces a federal shut down on September 30th, which is 20 days away: if there were no federal budget agreement. Biden’s Administration does not seem to be concerned at all.

The point is that Biden’s wish/want about China should get the public support in the US first. Then China will take him seriously.

Biden’s proposal for “a new economic corridor that will connect India, the Middle East and Europe” sounds great. It is ambitious to counter China’s 10-year-old BIR initiative, because the US has no cash on hand and the money would have to come from the World Bank, China is also a member nation. China has a significant capacity in constructing infrastructure projects worldwide. Instead of competition or repetition, there is no reason that Biden’s proposal for an economic corridor and China’s BIR initiative should be mutually exclusive.

Actions speak much louder than words!

New Delhi CNN President Joe Biden is nearing the end of a whirlwind trip to India and Vietnam for a series of high-profile meetings aimed at countering China’s influence in the developing world.

At the G20 in New Delhi and again in Hanoi, Biden used his swing through Asia to make the case that the US is a more reliable and trustworthy partner than Beijing, though he emphasized that he did not want a new Cold War with the Chinese.


‘Wrong message to send’: McCaul criticizes Biden for saying he doesn’t want to ‘contain’ China – full interview


Sun, September 10, 2023 at 10:54 AM PDT

“I don’t want to contain China, I just want to make sure we have a relationship with China that is on the up-and-up squared away, and everyone knows what it’s all about,” Biden said. “We have an opportunity to strengthen alliances around the world to maintain stability. That’s what this trip is all about, having India cooperate much more with United States, be closer to the United States, Vietnam being closer with the United States. It’s not about containing China. It’s about having a stable base – a stable base in Indo-Pacific.”

In speaking to General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng of the Communist Party of Vietnam on Sunday, Biden underscored this point.

“I think we have an enormous opportunity,” he said, adding: “Vietnam and the United States are critical partners at what I would argue is a very critical time. I’m not saying that to be polite. I’m saying it because I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”

He referenced supply chains and climate change and hailed “aspirations for a future of greater peace, greater security and greater prosperity.”

“I’m convinced we can achieve it,” he said, adding: “This can be the beginning of even a greater era of cooperation.”

But despite Biden’s hopes, there were still signs of the fractures that are coursing through current geopolitics, both at the G20 summit and in Hanoi.

Biden offers an alternative to China’s Belt and Road

Biden hoped to use new announcements on new infrastructure and investments as demonstration of US commitment to the developing world, and a better option for partnership than China. He announced the launch of a new economic corridor that will connect India, the Middle East and Europe on Saturday.

The plans could potentially transform global trade and directly challenge China’s own sprawling overseas development initiative, known as the Belt and Road, which has poured billions of dollars into infrastructure projects each year. While the project will include building integrated infrastructure, the president said it was “far from just laying tracks,” speaking with a group of global leaders that included the United Kingdom, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

“It’s about creating jobs, increasing trade, strengthening supply chains, boosting connectivity, laying foundations that will strengthen commerce and food security for people across multiple countries,” Biden said. “This is a game changing regional investment and … huge steps forward.”

The US says the Belt and Road initiative uses coercive lending practices for infrastructure projects in developing countries, an accusation Beijing has repeatedly denied. Biden’s proposals on World Bank reform similarly aim to offer a better deal to emerging economies.

Biden speaks to China’s Li at G20, says economic ‘crisis’ makes Taiwan invasion less likely

Nandita Bose and Trevor Hunnicutt

Updated Sun, September 10, 2023 at 10:58 AM PDT

HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday he held his highest level talks with Chinese leadership in months, adding that Beijing’s economic wobbles would not lead it to invade Taiwan.

Biden said he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s No.2, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, at the annual G20 summit in New Delhi. The talks were the highest level meeting between the two powers in nearly 10 months since Biden and Xi spoke at last year’s G20 in Indonesia.

Li, who took became premier in March, attended the gathering of world leaders in place of Xi. The two leaders were not expected to hold talks at the G20 but unscripted encounters at summits are common.

“My team, my staff still meets with President Xi’s people and his cabinet,” Biden told reporters. “I met with his No.2 person in India today.”

He added: “We talked about stability,” and the Southern Hemisphere. “It wasn’t confrontational at all.”

The two super powers have been trying to thaw frosty relations this year after a spat over a suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over U.S. territory, while fears of an economic slowdown have gripped Beijing.

Speaking at a press conference in Vietnam, Biden touted the U.S. economy as the “strongest” globally. He told reporters that China’s growth was slowing due to a weak global economy as well as Chinese policies but did not specify which policies.

Biden called China’s economic situation a “crisis,” citing issues in the real estate sector and high youth unemployment.

“One of the major economic tenets of his plan isn’t working at all right now,” Biden said of Xi, without elaborating. “I’m not happy for that, but it’s not working.”

Biden added: “He has his hands full right now.”

The Democratic president is headed into a 2024 re-election campaign where his own handling of the economy and inflation has become a central concern for voters.

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1% annualised rate last quarter. Central bankers have sharply raised interest rates to bring inflation back down to target levels.

August trade data showed China’s exports and imports both narrowing their declines, joining other indicators showing a possible stabilisation in the economic downturn, as policymakers seek to spur demand and fend off deflation.

Li has said China should achieve its 2023 growth target of around 5%, but some analysts think a worsening property slump, weak consumer spending and tumbling credit growth could mean lower growth.


Biden has tried to keep communications open with China to lower the temperature in international frictions including over Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by China.

“I don’t think this is going to cause China to invade Taiwan,” Biden said of the country’s economic troubles. “As a matter of fact, the opposite, probably doesn’t have the same capacity that it had before.”

He described the United States as a Pacific power with no intention of withdrawing from the region.

Biden also said recent moves by Chinese officials to curb the use of U.S.-designed Apple iPhones by state employees amounted to trying to “change some of the rules of the game” on trade.

“I am sincere about getting the relationship right,” he said.

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