lørdag 7. august 2021

Washington keeps adding new sanctions on China, despite a distinct lack of results.

The Biden administration recently stepped up its sanctions against China, in particular over the Hong Kong issue, notably by issuing a “warning” on July 16 about the “Risks and Considerations for Businesses Operating in Hong Kong” and imposing sanctions on seven deputy directors of the central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong. In fact, the Biden administration has adopted a relatively straightforward approach to the complex issue of how to face an increasingly confident and assertive China, by imposing series of sanctions over several key issues, including human rights in Hong Kong.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, well known as an iconoclast, paved the way for current President Joe Biden, who is politically more sophisticated than his predecessor, to sanction or even “punish” China. Therefore, the Biden administration does not need (or maybe does not intend) to spend too much energy on introducing new policies and sanction regimes; it can just follow in the Trump administration’s footsteps.

But that seemingly simple choice hides a deeper dilemma for Biden’s approach to China.