torsdag 22. april 2021

Compete, confront, cooperate: climate summit test for Biden’s China watchwords

Observers of the US and China this week may ponder whether a joint call to tackle the climate crisis marks a positive change in their fraught relationship, as the two leaders meet for the first time since Joe Biden was sworn into office. After four years of Donald Trump, the bilateral relationship has reached its lowest ebb since formal ties were established in January 1979. In both capitals, fear of a “new cold war” is on the rise. Many highlight growing competition, and the opposing nature of the two countries’ political systems.

Biden has so-far shown no sign of changing course on his China policy. Compared with his predecessor his tone may appear more discreet, but the war of words between top American and Chinese diplomats last month in Alaska offered a glimpse at the tensions beneath the surface. This may be a preview of what’s to come in the years ahead.