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Joe Biden in ‘stalemate of distrust’ with China as he fails to make progress post-Trump

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China and US relationship has 'frozen' with 'distrust' says expert

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Cameron Stewart, a ssociate editor for The Australian, argues Mr Biden needs to start making progress on dealing with China. While speaking to Sky News Australia with Sharri Markson, he said Biden hasn’t added anything to the progress his predecessor, Donald Trump, made. He did admit that President Biden had kept his election promises by remaining tough with China, however.

Mr Stewart added that the US and China remained in a stalemate rooted in “distrust”.

Ms Markson said: “Joe Biden and Xi Jinping had their second phone call, since Biden’s presidency, this week.

“How do you think the US is handling China now, compared to how the Trump administration did.

“Do you think there has been any significant shift at all?”

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Mr Markson praised the President for sticking to his word but admitted there was a need for more action from his office.

He said: “Biden certainly campaigned as being just as tough on China as Trump.

“I don’t think he has been good to that word, he has kept the trade sanctions, he has basically not changed or softened his attitude towards China at all.

“But Joe Biden also hasn’t progressed his attitudes on China in any way.

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“This is only the second time they have spoken, that is remarkable and it is almost like the relationship between these two superpowers is in a stalemate.

“It is frozen with a certain complete distrust on every side.

“There are disagreements on trade, the south china sea and strategic competition around the world etc.

“It hasn’t got better and it hasn’t got worse, it is just frozen.”

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The US President spoke with the Chinese leader for the first time in seven months on Thursday. The pair spoke about a range of economic, climate change and coronavirus-related issues, a Washington official said. 

The White House said Mr Biden and President Xi held a “broad and strategic discussion” and spoke of the importance to “ensure competition does not veer into conflict”.

A Washington official said President Biden raised concerns over China’s human rights record and maritime claims.

The insider added the US administration wanted further reassurances over the threats posed by cybersecurity and China’s nuclear programme.

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