China, US may enter period of 'stability' under Biden, with cooperation on COVID-19 to open to wider dialogues: experts

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/5 12:01:44

China US File photo

Extreme measures of the US to contain China's development are likely to decrease after US president-elect Joe Biden takes office, experts said at the Global Times' annual forum. They also predicted US strategy toward China are not likely to fundamentally change in the near future.

After Biden takes office, China-US relations will enter a stable period amid uncertainties because the US government needs to deal with many internal affairs, said Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said at the forum on Saturday. 

Yang Yi, rear admiral and former director of the National Defense University's Institute for Strategic Studies also predicted that unpredictable factors that affect bilateral ties will lessen in the future.

Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said Chinese authorities have already started to fix China-US ties and "seize all opportunities to engage with the Biden's team, or invite them to communicate, and the plans for negotiation are also well prepared."

"China highly values China-US ties, and China attaches much more importance to bilateral relations than the US does," Jin noted. 

Huang Renwei from Fudan Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance pointed out that fighting COVID-19 will help improve China-US ties. "Comprehensive cooperation between China and the US on COVID19 is difficult, but cooperation can be done at the state level. America's return to the WHO needs China's support," said Huang.  

Biden Photo: AFP

However, Wei Jianguo, former Chinese vice minister of commerce and executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said he does not necessarily agree with the idea of China-US cooperation on COVID-19. Biden has a gradual understanding of  the epidemic, but he hasn't learned from China, Wei said.

Yet Yang Yi also said that bilateral relations won't see fundamental change in the near future, as Trump's legacy on China won't be erased shortly, and that being hawkish on China has become consensus between both Democratic and Republican party. "Since now China-US tie have already entered "chilly winter" period, normal 'treatment' won't heal the scar, let's not hope for miracle," said Yang Yi.

China needs to prepare for a series of 'conflicting points' initiated by US in 2021-22, as China will celebrate the 100th anniversary of founding of the Communist Party of China in July, having Hong Kong election from Sep to Oct, and Winter Olympics in Jan-Feb in 2022, said Huang Renwei.

He noted that US Democrats, who emphasize ideologies and values, won't give up containing China at these points. 

Shen Dingli, professor with Fudan University is more pessimistic. He believes not only strategic changes between China and the US won't happen, the ties will also deteriorate in the upcoming terms. 

Shen noted that China is aiming for national rejuvenation, whilst the US won't allow anyone to surpass it. 

"My final conclusion is to enhance cooperation with US, whilst preparing for a lost US who is more agitated, and struggling with ways to deal with China," said Shen. 

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