Analysis: U.S.-China tensions may continue, Taiwan may become “the most dangerous tipping point in the world
Some economists and strategists said at the Reuters Global Market Forum that even if US President Biden is willing to re-engage in multilateral trade, he is unlikely to reach a new agreement with China, the world’s second largest economy, or reduce tariffs on China. This means that relations between the two countries will remain tense. Some analysts believe that the United States will continue to compete with China in technology, which makes Taiwan, which plays a key role in the Sino-US technology war, may become “the most dangerous tipping point in the world.”
Following the “America First” stance adopted by former President Trump, the Biden administration has implemented a “buy American” policy for federal procurement .
Rashmi Banga, senior economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said at the Reuters Global Market Forum on Tuesday that this means continued tension.
She predicts that in the ongoing technological competition with China, the United States will not change its policies. China has a huge global influence in the field of digital technology and services.
In view of Taiwan’s key role in the Sino-US technology war, Alastair Newton, the co-founder of Alawang Business Consulting Company, described Taiwan as “the world’s most dangerous flashpoint” (“the world’s most dangerous flashpoint).
“I am not predicting that there will be a war there in the near or medium term, but the risk of misjudgment cannot be ignored,” he said on the forum.
But he expects Biden to cooperate with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on climate change and Iran.
President Biden has not spoken with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he took office on January 20.
Biden said in an interview with CBS on Monday that Xi Jinping admitted that he “has no reason not to call him.”
He warned that the relationship between the two countries will be different from that under Trump’s leadership. He said that he had always told Xi Jinping that there was no need for conflict between the United States and China, but there would be “extreme competition.”
“I will not do it the way he knows it. That’s because he is also sending a signal. I will not do it like Trump. We will focus on international rules,” Biden said.
He has also always emphasized strengthening coordination with the American alliance to jointly respond to the challenges posed by China.
At a regular White House press conference on Monday, White House spokesperson Shaqi responded to a question about why Biden still has not spoken with Xi Jinping, saying that Biden spoke with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia. She said that China “is certainly an important topic in these conversations.”
She also added that Biden also discussed China during the phone call with European leaders. “Therefore, our strategy is of course to contact regional partners and allies. We will conduct these calls and contacts first, but also with the Democrats and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Republicans negotiate.”
Shaqi also said that the president “has not called every international leader, he has not yet contacted all of them, and I am sure he will have more such activities in the coming weeks.”
President Biden spoke on the phone with Modi of India on Monday.
Priyanka Kishore, head of India and South Asia, the Macroeconomics and Investor Services Department of Oxford Economics, who participated in the Reuters Global Market Forum, believes that in the Indo-Pacific region, the United States is adopting alternative arrangements to demonstrate its strength. The existence of the region includes an informal four-party group formed with Australia, India, and Japan to counter China’s political, commercial, and military influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The United States can choose to let its influence be felt through its relationship with these countries (the four-party mechanism),” Kishore said.
Some trade experts believe that another area where the United States exerts its influence is multilateral trade agreements.
China joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RECP) initiated by ASEAN countries last year. The agreement is billed as the world’s largest free trade agreement and is seen as an alternative to the Comprehensive Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The predecessor of the agreement, the “Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement” (TPP), is the core of the former US President Barack Obama’s strategic focus of connecting 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region to Asia. Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2017 before the TPP was signed.
Former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler said at the Reuters Global Market Forum that these trade agreements will put pressure on the U.S. to participate.
Chris Rogers, a research analyst at Panjiva, S&P’s global market intelligence division, said at the forum that in order to hinder the cooperation of partners in the CPTPP with China, the Biden administration is expected to quickly indicate its intention to rejoin the agreement.
But he believes that Biden will not act in a hurry.
“Biden might walk instead of run,” the analyst said.
He added that compared with Trump, the new US administration may be more deliberate and consulted when making policy changes