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The State and Dilemmas of the Biden Administration’s Strategic Competition with China


Executive director of the Institute of International Studies of Nanjing University, Zhu Feng, and research assistant Ni Guihua, react to the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy. Zhu and Feng view the policy as a partially aimed at constraining China’s development.

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The Biden administration will soon complete its first year, and its China policy is already basically clear. Chinese leaders have made many earnest efforts to work on [the relationships with] the United States and have emphasized that the stability and development of Sino-U.S. relations are not an “optional question”, but a “required question” indispensable to the historical trend of peace and prosperity of the two peoples and the world. However, the Biden administration proceeds from the maintenance of the hegemonic position and interests of the United States. Based on the facts of “internal turmoil” (内卷化) such as severe political and social opposition and division, the severe COVID-19 pandemic, and the high inflation rate in the United States, they are trying to use the policy of comprehensive and in-depth confrontation and suppression of China to score a political victory (执政亮点). They also want to restore the central role of the United States in the global high-tech manufacturing production chain and supply chain through a hard-line “decoupling” policy towards China. In doing so, the United States intends to substantially weaken China’s manufacturing upgrade and high-tech progress, in an attempt to reopen the gap in power between the United States and China.

拜登政府上台将满一年,其中国政策已基本清晰。尽管中国领导人多次语 重心长地做美国的工作,强调中美关系的稳定与发展不是可有可无的“选择题”,而是事关两国人民与世界和平与繁荣历史走向的“必答题”,但拜登政府从维护 美国的霸权地位和利益出发,基于美国国内严峻的政治和社会对立与分裂、严峻的新冠疫情和高通货膨胀率等“内卷化”事实,试图将对华全面、深度对抗和打压政策作为执政亮点,更想要通过对华强硬的“脱钩”政策,重新恢复美 国全球高技术制造业生产链和供应链上的中心地位。美国这么做,就是要实质 性削弱中国制造业升级和高技术进步,妄图重新拉开与中国的力量对比差距。

The previous U.S. policy of engagement with China has been replaced by a multi-pronged policy of comprehensively suppressing China’s rise. This is the inevitable choice of the United States to combat China’s rising momentum and increasing power. The high-tech R&D and cutting-edge manufacturing fields have actually become the main battlefields of the United State’s “new containment strategy” against China. In order to achieve this strategic aim, the Biden administration emphasized that the main competition in the world today is the contest between the United States and Western democracies with “heterogeneous” (异质) countries represented by China and Russia. They will not hesitate to “demonize” China so that the United States can win over its allies and partner countries to form an “Anti-China Alliance.” At the same time, Biden has advocated the adoption of a series of legislative measures in the United States to improve infrastructure and increase social spending and calls for plans such as “Build Back Better World” (B3W), paving the way for the “reindustrialization” of the United States.

美国以往的对华接触政策已被全面压制中国崛起的多头政策所取代,打击 中国的崛起势头和实力升级是美国必然的选择。高科技研发和尖端制造业领域,事实上已经成为美国对华“新遏制战略”的主战场。为了达到这一战略目的, 拜登政府强调当今世界的主要竞争是美西方民主国家和中国、俄罗斯为代表的 “异质”国家之间的较量,不惜大肆“妖魔化”中国来为美国拉拢其盟友、伙伴国家同组“抗中联盟”服务。与此同时,拜登在美国国内力主通过一系列立 法措施,改善基础设施、增加社会开支和呼吁“重建更美好世界”(B3W)等计 划,为美国的“再工业化”进程开路。

The Biden administration’s China policy already has the basic characteristics of a coordinated domestic and international initiative to combat and contain China on all sides. This is exactly the meaning of “extreme competition” with China as declared by Biden. In response to this, we need accurate, in-depth, and objective analysis and judgment. Sino-U.S. relations already cannot return to their former state. In response to the United States multi-pronged attack and wide-ranging suppression, China must consider and formulate long-term and strategic response strategies.

拜登政府的对华政策已经具备了国内和国际协同共进、反华和遏华四面出 击的基本特点。这正是拜登声言要与中国进行“极限竞争”(extreme competition)的含义所在。对此,我们需要有准确、深入和客观的分析与判断。中美关系已经回不到过去。应对美国的多头出击、多元打压,中国必须思考和制定长远和战略性应对策略。

I. The Biden Administration’s China Strategy: “Four-Pronged Approach” of Human Rights, Security, Economy, and Technology


Since the end of the Cold War, and even in the era of engagement with China, the China policies of successive U.S. administrations have, without exception, placed equal emphasis on economic cooperation and the national security interest of “marking China” [盯防中国, sports term meaning marking the strongest player out for special attention of the defense]. Even in the 1990s, when Clinton reinstated China’s most-favored-nation status for trade, welcomed China’s “accession to the WTO,” expanded Sino-U.S. economic and trade exchanges, and accepted Chinese investment in the United States, China was always the country with the second-strictest controls in the U.S. export control list. In its engagement with China, the United States’ policy has always been to prohibit the export of military technology and equipment to China, as well as the export of dual-use technologies. In other words, even with the rapid expansion and improvement of Sino-U.S. trade and economic exchanges starting in the late 1990s, China has always been the object of severe scrutiny on the U.S. national security agenda, and restricting the upgrade of China’s armaments and strategic competitiveness has always been a core element of U.S. policy toward China.

冷战结束以来,即便在对华接触时代,美国历届政府的中国政策无一例外都将 经济合作与“盯防中国”的国家安全利益并重。即便是 20 世纪 90 年代克林顿 重新给予中国贸易最惠国地位、欢迎中国“入世”、扩大美中经贸往来和接受中国对美投资,中国也一直是美国出口控制清单上受到管控的第二严厉等级的国 家。禁止向中国出口军事技术和装备、禁止向中国出口军民两用技术,是美国 在对华接触政策始终贯彻的方针。换句话来说,即便中美贸易和经济交往从20 世纪 90 年代末开始得到了迅速扩大和提升,中国始终是美国国家安全议程上严厉盯防的对象,限制中国军备和战略竞争力的升级,始终是美国对华政策 的核心要素。

In addition to China, by the mid-1990s, two important factors—the threat to national security in international economic competition and the pursuit of U.S. hegemony—have always driven the basic response whereby U.S. policymakers focused on maintaining the U.S.-dominated unipolar structures after the Cold War by integrating economic and security policies. The place of economic security in the national security strategy of the United States has never been overlooked. The Biden administration’s current suppression of China in economics and advanced technology is a unilateral and hegemonic approach aimed at the legitimate commercial competitiveness of the Chinese economy and the unobstructed expansion of “national security” (国家安全化, national securitization) to encompass the economy and technology.

除了对中国之外,到 90 年代中期,两个重要因素——对国际经济竞争中的国家安全威胁以及确保美国霸权地位的追求——始终是推动美国政策制定者们以整合经济与安全政策的方式对冷战后保持美国主导的单极结构的基本反应。经济安全在美国国家安全战略中的地位从来没有被忽视过。今天拜登政府对中国的经济和高科技打压,是针对中国经济正当的商业竞争力,无限度地扩大对经济和科技的“国家安全化”而采取的单边主义、霸凌主义做法。

For the United States, as the defending hegemonic power since World War II, economic security has always been the pillar of U.S. national security. Edward Mead Earle pointed out that the relationship between the economy and security “has been the most critical and fascinating issue in statecraft since the rise of nation-states, the expansion of European civilization, the outbreak of the Industrial Revolution, and the steady improvement of military technology.” [Translator’s note: The original source of most quotations from English sources in this document could not be found due to the lack of references. In these cases, the Chinese translation has been translated back into English] With the end of the Cold War, the boundaries between Eastern and Western countries disappeared, globalization accelerated, the degree of interdependence among countries has continued to deepen, and economic security has gradually separated from military security to become a relatively independent field, receiving increasing attention by American policymakers. This is intuitively reflected in the National Security Strategies submitted to Congress by successive U.S. presidents.

作为二战后就成为守成霸权国家的美国,经济安全历来是美国国家安全的 支柱性内容。爱德华·厄尔指出,经济与安全的关系“自民族国家的崛起、欧洲文明的扩张、工业革命的爆发以及军事技术的稳步提升以来,就是治国之术 中最关键和吸引人的问题”。冷战的终结,消弭了东西方国家之间的界线,全 球化加速推进,各国相互依存的程度不断加深,经济安全逐渐脱离军事安全成为相对独立的领域并越发受到美国决策者们的重视,这在美国历任总统向国会 提交的《国家安全战略》中有着直观的反映。

The Reagan administration suggested that the United States’ “reliance on foreign supply sources has increased in many key areas, and potential supply chain vulnerabilities are a problem deserving attention.” The Clinton administration gave the connection between the economy and national security greater status, arguing that the United States’ “economic and security interests are inextricably linked. Prosperity at home depends on our leadership in the global economy. The strength of our diplomacy, our ability to maintain an unrivaled military, the attractiveness of our values abroad all depend in part on the strength of our economy.” Although the Obama administration had experienced the impact of the financial crisis, it still emphasized the liberal international order and believed that, “the U.S. economy is not only an engine of global economic growth and a source of stability for the international system, but also a key indicator of our military strength and diplomatic influence. A strong economy combined with the United States’ prominent position in the international financial system will effectively enhance national security.”

里根政府提出,美国“对国外供应来源的依赖在许多关键领域有所增加, 潜在的供应链脆弱性是个值得关注的问题”。克林顿政府将经济与国家安全的联系置于更高的位置,认为美国的“经济和安全的利益越来越无法分割:国内 的繁荣依赖于积极地参与国际事务。而在国外,美国的外交实力、维持一个无 与伦比的军事力量的能力、价值观的吸引力,都依赖于美国的经济实力”。奥巴马政府虽然经历了金融危机的冲击,但依然强调自由主义国际秩序,认为 “美国经济不仅是全球经济增长的引擎和国际体系的稳定源,也是我们军事实 力和外交影响力的关键指标,强大的经济结合美国在国际金融体系中的显著地位,将有力提升国家安全”。

The Trump administration, which came to power in 2017, started from a value system of populism, white supremacy, and American exceptionalism on the right wing of the Republican Party and pursued the domestic and foreign policy of “America First.” This had a subversive impact on the traditional liberal internationalist diplomacy of the United States. The Trump administration emphasized: “Economic security is an important part of national security, and economic means have also become an important component of a country’s diplomatic means.” After Biden took office, he emphasized that the United States should return to “world leadership,” and attempted to change the negative impression that the unilateralism and new isolationism in U.S. diplomacy during the Trump administration had on the world. However, the Biden administration inherited the Trump administration’s emphasis that U.S. national security needs to fully return to the “state-centric” mode of struggle in the face of China’s rise. From the very beginning of his presidency, Biden made it clear that economic security is national security and that the “traditional boundaries between domestic and foreign policy and between national security, economic security, health security, and environmental security should be broken down to deal with the current new situation.”

2017 年上台的特朗普政府,从共和党右翼的民粹主义、白人至上主义和美国例外主义的价值体系出发,追求“美国优先”的内外政策,对美国传统的自 由国际主义外交带来了颠覆性的冲击。特朗普政府强调:“经济安全是国家安全 的重要组成部分,经济权术也成为国家外交手段的重要一环。”拜登执政后,强调美国要重回“世界领袖地位”,试图改变特朗普政府给世界带来的美国外交 出现单边主义和新孤立主义的消极印象。但拜登政府继承了特朗普政府所强调 的美国国家安全面对中国崛起,需要全面重回“国家中心主义”的争斗模式,拜登上任伊始就清晰地表明,经济安全就是国家安全,“应当打破传统上国内外 政策以及国家安全、经济安全、卫生安全、环境安全之间的界线来应对当前新 形势”。

The evolution of the U.S. national security strategy not only shows Washington’s changing perception of its own internal and external situations, but also the centrality of the strategy to maintain U.S. hegemony. Even more, it has determined the United States’ revaluation of Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations—from a ballast stone in bilateral relations, they have become a “direct threat” to U.S. national security. In the face of a powerful rising China, the United States has historically “redefined” China—A China that is starting to become strong is a “heterogeneous” country that “intentionally” challenges the current international order and competes with the United States for dominance in international affairs. Since the late Obama administration, the United States began to domestically question and reconsider its China policy. After Trump took office, he officially characterized China as a “revisionist country” and a primary “strategic competitor.” The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy report states: “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.” The Biden administration more explicitly stated that: “China, in particular, has rapidly become more assertive. It is the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system.” “Dealing with China’s challenge” has become the basic consensus of U.S. political and academic circles across the left, center, and right.

美国国家安全战略的演进,既是华盛顿对自身内外形势变化的认知,也是 美国霸权护持战略的重心,更决定了美国对中美经贸关系的再定位——从双边关系的压舱石,演变成美国国家安全的“直接威胁”。面对崛起势头强劲的中国, 美国对中国出现了历史性的“再定义”——一个开始强大的中国就是“有意” 挑战现行国际秩序,并和美国争夺国际事务主导权的“异质”国家。从奥巴马执政后期,美国国内就开始质疑并反思美国对华政策。特朗普上台后,正式将 中国定性为“修正主义国家”和主要的“战略竞争对手”。特朗普政府的国家 安全战略报告指出:“国与国之间的战略竞争,已经取代恐怖主义成为美国国家安全的主要关切。”拜登政府更是明确提出:“中国是唯一能够综合运用其经济、 外交、军事和技术力量,对当前稳定、开放的国际体系造成持续威胁的战略竞 争对手。”“应对中国挑战”成为美国政界和学术界涵盖左、中、右的基本共识。

The Biden administration’s “Four-Pronged Approach” in its strategic competition with China is precisely the result of the fact that the United States is aware that Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations represent the world’s largest trading partnership and there is currently massive trade dependence on China from East Asia to Europe. It is an attempt to start again from a strategy of prioritizing U.S. national security interests, limit and reduce the commercial dependence of the United States and its European and East Asian allies on China, try to reduce the economic costs of the strategic confrontation with China, and curb the momentum of China’s rise in the industrial and high-tech fields. To this end, the Biden administration’s “strategic competition” with China, on the one hand, draws ideological lines and organizes geopolitical “cliques”. On the other hand, it starts with the simultaneous separation between geoeconomics and geotechnology and creation of confrontation, simultaneously suppresses China from the “four major areas” of human rights, security, economics and trade, and science and technology, and plan a geostrategic layout to allow the United States to continue to isolate and contain China.

拜登政府对华战略竞争的“四管其下”,正是美国意识到了中美经贸关系作 为世界上最大的贸易伙伴以及今天从东亚到欧洲对中国巨大的贸易依赖的事实,企图重新从美国国家安全利益优先的战略出发,限制和缩小美国、欧洲和东亚 盟国对中国的商业依赖,试图在对华战略对抗中降低经济代价、抑制中国工业 和高科技崛起的势头。为此,拜登政府的对华“战略竞争”一方面以意识形态划线和组织地缘政治的“团团伙伙”,另一方面则同时从地缘经济与地缘科技分 裂和制造对立入手,从人权、安全、经贸、科技这“四大领域”同时打压中国, 为美国持续性地孤立和遏制中国的地缘战略谋篇布局。

The cross-spatial nature of high-tech competition has changed the traditional geopolitical model of great power competition, with the importance of seizing strategic locations dropping significantly and the losses incurred by military occupation of raw material sources increasingly outweighing the gains. Advanced technology has amplified long-range force projection capabilities and long-range military strike capabilities, making territorial competition no longer necessary. The pattern of geographic competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Third World during the Cold War no longer has any meaning in contemporary times. Unlike the competition between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War, the current competition between China and the United States must be considered in the context of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Klaus Schwab has pointed out that all the new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things, autonomous driving, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing that together drive the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will become key factors in great-power competition in the new era. The current competition between China and the United States is a multi-dimensional and comprehensive competition in the fields of security and economics. As a key link between the two fields of security and economics, advanced technology is becoming the main field of great-power competition between China and the United States, and completion for dominance in the field of advanced technology has become the focus of current Sino-U.S. competition.

高科技竞争的跨空间性改变了大国竞争的传统地缘模式,抢占战略要地的 重要性大幅下降,军事占领原材料产地的行动日益变得得不偿失;高科技提升了远程兵力投放能力和远程军事打击能力,使地域争夺变得不再必要。冷战期 间美苏在第三世界的地理争夺模式在当代失去了意义。与冷战期间美苏竞争不 同的是,当前中美之间的竞争需要置于“第四次工业革命”的背景下加以考量。克劳斯·施瓦布指出,所有新技术如人工智能(AI)、机器人、物联网、自动驾 驶、3D 打印、纳米技术、生物技术、材料科学、储能器、量子计算等共同推动了所谓的“第四次工业革命”,将成为新时代大国竞争的关键因素。当前中美 之间的竞争,是在安全和经济领域多维一体的全面竞争。高科技作为链接安全 与经济两个领域的关键环节,正成为中美之间大国竞争的主要场域,争夺高科技领域的主导地位成为当前中美竞争的重心。

First, high-tech and cutting-edge manufacturing has become the core driving force for the strategic capacity building of great powers. Kenneth Waltz has pointed out that the U.S.-Soviet arms race during the Cold War was “the largest-scale use of military technology at the forefront of science and technology to widen the gap with opponents. Moreover, these modern weapon systems raised the threshold for other countries to join the superpower club. Unable to approach the technological R&D level of the United States and the Soviet Union, middle powers will continue to lag behind.” Winning a dominant position in military power by promoting the iterative update of military technology was the internal driving force of U.S.-Soviet competition during the Cold War. With the decline of the Soviet Union in the 1980s, it no longer had the ability to challenge the United States in the field of science and technology, and Japan, which had the ability to challenge the United States in the field of science and technology, was a staunch ally of the United States and did not pose a security threat. In the 1990s, the prosperity of the Internet economy and the drastic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe objectively promoted the accelerated development of globalization and brought about the global spread of emerging technologies. Assisted by the international trade system and the global division of industrial labor system formed after World War II, emerging technologies have gradually spread to all countries as part of global industrial transfers. This has also profoundly changed the internal driving force of strategic competition among great powers.

首先,高科技和尖端制造业已经成为大国战略能力建设的核心驱动力。肯 尼思·沃尔兹指出,美苏冷战期间的军备竞赛,就是“最大规模的利用处于科技前沿的军事技术以拉开和对手的差距,而这些现代化的武器体系提升了其他 国家跻身超级大国俱乐部的门槛,无法接近美苏的技术研发水平,中等强国也 将持续处于落后状态”。以推动军事技术的迭代更新赢得军事实力上的优势地位,是冷战期间美苏竞争的内在驱动力。随着苏联在 20 世纪 80 年代日渐式微,其在科技领域对美国不再具有挑战能力,而有能力在科技领域挑战美国的日本又是美国坚定的盟友,不构成安全上的威胁。进入90年代,互联网经济的繁荣和苏东剧变,客观上促进了全球化的加速发展,也带来了新兴技术的全球扩 散:借助二战后形成的国际贸易体系和全球产业分工体系,新兴技术在全球范 围内的产业转移中逐步扩散至世界各国,这也深刻地改变了大国战略竞争的内在驱动力。

The difference between Sino-U.S. great-power competition and U.S.-Soviet competition of hegemony is that competition between China and the United States focuses more on the use of advanced technology to develop their own economies to gain economic power. Rather than a competition for military dominance, it is a competition for economic leadership. At the same time, advanced technology is also constantly promoting the upgrade of military equipment and thus affecting the balance of power between China and the United States. China’s great progress in high-tech fields has not only driven the development of related industries and reduced its gap with the United States, but also allowed China to achieve the modernization and upgrading of military equipment by leveraging its scientific and technological progress, giving it the ability to threaten American hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region. The dual role of advanced technology in the economic and security fields makes it the core and internal driving force of the strategic power of today’s great powers.


In addition, the policy and strategy elites of the Biden administration are very clear that, without the gradual “de-Sinification” of advanced technology and production chains, the United States will always have to bear a high price in strategic confrontation with China. In the current strategic competition between China and the United States, in addition to the “Three Seas Linkage” (三海联动) tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea, and the East China Sea and the increased U.S. military pressure on China, the openness and cooperation in the fields of economics and science and technology is still a force fighting against locking-out and decoupling. The Trump administration’s measures to contain China’s rise are mainly manifested in the unilateral reliance of the United States on its dominant position to carry out a hegemonic trade war against China and impose sanctions on Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies. Ignoring WTO rules and related international norms and restrictions, they attempted to achieve the comprehensive suppression of China in economics and science and technology. However, while adopting a hard-line policy toward China, the Trump administration alienated allies and “withdrew” from international organizations. As a result, they were criticized that their China policy was more of an attitude than a strategy. After Biden took office, the U.S. policy of strategic competition with China positioned the Sino-U.S. relationship as a relationship of “competitive interdependence,” focusing on coordinating and organizing its allies and partner countries to build an “anti-China alliance.” The Biden administration has not only indiscriminately attacked China’s human rights, but also defined China’s policy of economic and trade openness as “aggressive and coercive abuse of economic power” that is a violation of “intellectual property rights and global governance.” At the same time, when it is in the interests of the United States, China is required to strengthen cooperation with the United States on issues such as climate change and nuclear arms control. Biden’s policy of “strategic competition” with China emphasizes “Build Back Better World” plans to spur domestic economic resurgence, such as increasing infrastructure improvements, expanding social spending, and rebuilding the U.S. high-tech industrial economy. This is supplemented by practices such as uniting allies and partners, renewing its role in international organizations, and restoring the U.S. international reputation damaged by Trump. Together, this is an attempt to comprehensively consolidate and expand the strategic advantages of the United States relative to China.

其次,拜登政府的政策和战略精英很清楚,不在高科技和产业链上逐步的 “去中国化”,美国将不得不始终承担对华战略对抗的高昂成本。当前中美之间的战略竞争,除了台海、南海和东海“三海联动”紧张局势和美国加强对华军事施压之外,集中在经济和科技领域的开放与合作还是闭锁 与脱钩之争。特朗普政府遏制中国崛起的手段,集中表现为美国单方面依仗自 己的优势地位对华实施贸易霸凌主义的贸易战、制裁华为等中国高科技公司,无视世界贸易组织规约和相关的国际规范限制,力图实现经济与科技上的对华全面压制。但特朗普政府在采取对华强硬政策的同时,却疏远盟友、从国际组织中“退群”,因而也被批评为其对华政策更多的是一种态度而非战略。拜登上台后,美国对华战略竞争政策将美中关系定位为“竞争性相互依存”关系,重在拉拢组织其盟友和伙伴国家建立“抗中联盟”。拜登政府不仅肆意对中国进行人权攻击,更把中国的经贸开放政策定义为“具有侵略性、强制性的滥用经济权术行为”,是对“知识产权和全球治理”的破坏。与此同时,在符合美国利益的情况下又要中国在气候变化、核军控等问题上加强与美合作。拜登的与中国“战略竞争”政策,强调国内加大基础设施改善、扩大社会性支出和重建美国高科技产业经济等“重建更美好世界”国内经济再增长计划,辅之以联合盟友与伙伴、更新在国际组织中的角色、挽回特朗普损害后的美国国际声誉等做法,试图全面巩固和扩大美国的对华战略优势。

Based on such strategic intentions, the Biden administration, in politics, [seeks to] take ideology as its starting point, build consensus at home to promote the formation of a policy system of “coordination of the government and society” (府会协同), and build an “alliance of democratic countries” abroad to jointly fight against a “heterogeneous” China. Economically, [the administration seeks to] increase investment in domestic infrastructure and key industries to enhance domestic economic competitiveness, increase the protection of core technologies through the approach of “exclusive yards with high walls” [小院高墙, a new term from Xi Jinping’s speech to the World Economic Forum], widen the technological gap with China, and maintain a long-term competitive advantage over China. Militarily, [the administration seeks to] consolidate and expand the U.S. alliance system in the Indo-Pacific region, make full use of the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-South Korea bilateral alliances, upgrade the “quadrilateral mechanism” among the United States, Japan, India, and Australia, and activate the intelligence sharing function of the “Five Eyes alliance” to create a wall of encirclement around China. In the field of economy and security, [the administration seeks to] rationalize the legal basis for sanctions imposed by the executive branch, coordinate with Congress to enact legislation, and cut off China’s military-civil fusion development path as a means to hinder China’s military scientific and technological progress and military modernization. In this series of deployments, the comprehensive containment of China in the high-tech field has become the focus of the Biden administration’s China policy.

基于这样的战略意图,拜登政府在政治上,以意识形态为抓手,在国内凝 聚共识力促形成“府会协同”的政策体系,在国外打造“民主国家同盟”共同对抗“异质”的中国;在经济上,通过加大对国内基建及关键行业的投资来提 升国内经济竞争力,以“小院高墙”的方式加大对核心科技的保护,拉开与中 国的技术差距,以维持对中国的长期竞争优势;在军事上,巩固并扩张美国在印太地区的盟友体系,充分利用美日、美韩双边同盟,升级美日印澳“四边机 制”、激活“五眼联盟”的情报分享功能,以打造围堵中国的包围圈;在经济与 安全交融领域,理顺行政部门制裁的法理依据、协同国会立法,以切断中国军民融合发展路径为手段阻遏中国的军事科技进步和军队现代化升级。这一系列 的布局中,在高科技领域对中国进行全面遏制成为拜登政府中国政策的重心。

II. Basic Practices of the Biden Administration’s Policy of Suppressing China


Since the Biden administration came to power, it has continued to implement the strategy of “decoupling” from China in fields that are of core significance to future global industrial development, such as 5G, chips, electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, and products, using human rights and security as a pretext. This is done to ensure the re-emergence in the United States of the industrial policies and green economy policies pushed by Biden after taking office and to ensure the dominant position of the United States in the global manufacturing landscape. To this end, Biden is trying to build an institutionalized policy system for competition with China through Congress, simultaneously working to unite allies to jointly contain China, and conducting strategic competition with China in the field of science and technology based on the idea of “extreme competition.”

拜登政府上台以来,利用人权、安全借口,在对未来全球产业发展具有核 心意义的 5G、芯片、电动汽车、可再生能源技术和产品等方面继续实施对华 “脱钩”战略,以保障拜登上台后力推的产业政策、绿色经济政策在美国重新崛起,并保障其在全球制造业布局中的优势地位。为此,拜登力图通过国会构 建制度化的对华竞争政策体系,同时联合盟友共同遏制中国,以“极限竞争”的思维在科技领域与中国展开战略竞争。

First, they are trying to create a hard-line anti-China legislative system featuring “coordination of the government and society.” Following the tone set by the United States’ smearing of human rights in China, they have continuously launched related projects that restrict or even prohibit normal business, investment, technology, and educational exchanges between the United States and China, and through various legislative measures, the exchanges and connections that have been formed between the two countries have been vigorously reduced within the U.S. government and social system. At present, the Democratic Party has a majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate. Before the 2022 mid-term congressional elections, the Biden administration has a window in which it can continuously obtain legislative approval and support for its policy agenda. The Biden administration is working hard to bring together majorities in both houses of Congress in the form of a bipartisan bill to build an institutional system that suppresses Chinese advanced technology, restricts normal exchanges between the two countries, and carries out excessive “national securitization” in relations with China. The U.S. Senate passed the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA) on June 8, 2021, with a vote of 68 to 32. This bill, which is exceptional for its extremely targeted nature, aims to expand investment in industry and science and technology in order to meet the challenge posed by China. Biden praised this as the result of a bipartisan effort. The USICA also includes main elements of his “American Jobs Plan.” On August 10 of the same year, after months of bipartisan negotiations, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the Senate by a vote of 69 to 30. Biden pointed out that, along with his push to “Build Back Better World,” the infrastructure investment plan will create approximately 2 million jobs each year over the next decade. To reduce resistance, Biden did not hesitate to focus the investments in the bill on the core infrastructure areas that Republicans value more, and correspondingly reduce investment in areas of more concern to Democrats such as climate change, racial equality, and health care.

第一,打造“府会协同”的强硬反华立法体系,在美国对华人权抹黑等基 调下不断推出限制甚至禁止美中正常商业、投资、科技与教育交流的相关项目,并通过各种立法措施在美国的政府与社会体制内大力压缩两国已经形成的交流和联系。当前民主党在参众两院均是多数党,2022年国会中期选举之前是拜登政府的执政计划不断获得立法批准和支持的窗口期。拜登政府努力以跨党派议案的 形式团结国会两院多数议员,以构建对华高科技打压、限制两国正常交往和实 现对华关系中过度“国家安全化”的制度体系。美国参议院于 2021年6月8日以68票对 32票通过了《2021年美国创新和竞争法案》(The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021,USICA)。这部罕见的针对性极强的议案,旨在扩大对产业和科技的投资以应对中国的挑战。拜登称赞这是跨党派努 力的结果,USICA也包含了其“美国工作计划”(American Jobs Plan)的主要内容。同年8月10日,经过两党的数月谈判,《基础设施投资和就业法案》(Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act)在参议院以69票对30票获得通过,拜登指出伴随着其“重建更美好世界”的推进,该基建投资计划将在未来十年里每年提供大约 200 万个就业机会。为减少阻力,拜登不惜将法案投资重点放在了共和党更看重的核心基础设施领域,而相应地减少了民主党更关注的气候变化、种族平等以及医疗等领域的投资。

Creating a policy system of “coordination of the government and society” is an important means for the Biden administration to maintain long-term and institutionalized competition with China in science and technology. The infrastructure bills and innovation policies promoted by the Biden administration are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Because the development of manufacturing is inseparable from a sound and developed infrastructure network, innovation policies not only can drive economic development and create jobs, but also help constrain China’s momentum in core science and technology areas. Therefore, in the process of medium and long-term strategic competition, they will continuously improve the inherent competitiveness of U.S. science and technology and industry.

打造“府会协同”的政策体系,是拜登政府对华科技竞争长期化、制度化 的重要手段。拜登政府推出的基建法案与创新政策是相辅相成、相互促进的,因为制造业的发展离不开完善、发达的基础设施网络,创新政策不仅可以推动经济发展、创造就业岗位,也有助于遏制中国在核心科技领域的发展势头,从而在中长期战略竞争的过程中不断提升美国的科技和产业的内在竞争力。

Second, they are trying to form an “alliance of democratic countries” in the field of science and technology in an attempt to unite more countries in the production chain and supply chain to build “exclusive yards with high walls” directly targeting China. Biden appreciates the strategic significance of his system of allies in containing China. He has said that the allies Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Australia are “the most important assets of the United States.” At the Munich Security Conference, Biden said that they must prepare for a long-term strategic competition with China. This requires a reliance on the global system that the United States has shaped over the past 70 years with allies in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. The Biden administration hopes to build a so-called “alliance of democratic countries” against China under the banners of “democracy” and “human rights” while investing heavily in innovation and infrastructure domestically to revitalize key industries. The “Democratic Ten” (D-10) is a typical example: With the G7 as its main entities, it unites the European Union, Australia, and South Korea to form a group of strategically like-minded and globally influential countries to resist the challenges posed by China and Russia. The D-10 forms technology initiatives to develop conventional standards and more resilient supply chains for advanced technologies, provides channels for rebuilding free and fair trade, and proposes climate initiatives to upgrade green technologies. The Biden administration’s promotion of “values diplomacy” (价值观外交) is an important practice of its multilateral diplomacy strategy. In the field of science and technology, they are putting together a so-called “democratic alliance” to fight against “heterogeneous” China. In essence, they are trying to constrict China’s development space in the field of science and technology, widen the technological gap between China and the United States, and contain the momentum of China’s rise in the high-tech sector.

第二,组建科技领域“民主国家同盟”,试图在产业链、供应链领域内联合更多的国家建立起直接针对中国的“小院高墙”。拜登重视其盟友体系在遏制中国方面的战略意义,指出加拿大、墨西哥、英国、德国、法国、北约、日本、韩国和澳大利亚这些盟友是“美国最重要的资产”。在慕尼黑安全会议上,拜登称,必须做好与中国进行长期战略竞争的准备,这需要依靠过去70年里美国与欧洲及印太地区的盟友共同塑造的全球体系。拜登政府寄希望于在国内大力投资创新以及基础设施振兴关键性产业的同时,以“民主”和“人权”为旗帜构建针对中国的所谓“民主国家同盟”。“民主十国”(D-10)便是典例:以 G7 为主体,联合欧盟、澳大利亚和韩国构成战略上志同道合、具有全球影响力的国家组合,抵抗来自中俄的挑战,形成技术倡议以发展先进技术的常规标准和更有弹性的供应链,提供重建自由公正贸易的渠道以及提出升级绿色技术的气候倡议。拜登政府推动“价值观外交”,是其多边主义外交战略的重要实践,而在科技领域串联起所谓的“民主同盟”共同对抗“异质”中国,实质上是力图挤压中国在科技领域的发展空间,拉开中国与美国之间的技术差距,遏制中国在高科技领域的崛起势头。

The “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” (Quad) of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia has also added new cooperation topics such as climate change, vaccines, cutting-edge technologies, and infrastructure since the Biden administration took office. This means that the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy not only has a geopolitical alliance posture and a military “anti-China alliance,” but also attempts to build a geoeconomic and geotechnical “anti-China alliance.” On September 24, 2021, the four heads of state of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia held an offline meeting in Washington for the first time. In addition to focusing on traditional topics such as the pandemic, infrastructure, climate, and education, they also expanded the scope of topics to emerging technologies, cybersecurity, and space. Among these topics, with regard to cooperation in the field of technology, it is clearly stated that a joint statement of the four countries will be issued, announcing the establishment of a technical standards liaison group, the launch of semiconductor supply chain initiatives, support for 5G deployment and diversification, and monitoring of biotechnology scanning. The expansion of the functions of the “Quad mechanism” is the result of the Biden administration’s expansion of the boundaries of technological alliances and the formation of a more comprehensive technology and high-tech industry “firewall” against China. It is also a new method in the U.S. science and technology war against China.

美日印澳“四边安全机制”(Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Quad)在拜 登政府上台后还新增了气候变化、疫苗、前沿技术和基础设施等合作议题。这意味着拜登政府的印太战略不仅有地缘政治结盟态势和打造军事上的“抗中联盟”,更企图建立地缘经济和地缘科技的“抗中联盟”。2021年 9月24日,美日印澳四国元首首次在华盛顿召开线下会议,除了聚焦疫情、基建、气候、教育等传统议题外,还将议题范围扩展到了新兴技术、网络安全和太空领域,其中,关于技术领域的合作,明确提出将发布一个四国共同声明,宣布成立技术标准联络组、启动半导体供应链倡议、支持 5G 部署和多元化、监控生物技术扫描。“四边机制”功能扩张,是拜登政府拓展技术同盟边界、对中国形成 更全面的技术和高科技产业“防火墙”的结果,更是美国对华科技战的新手法。

On September 29, 2021, the United States and the European Union (EU) announced the establishment of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). This council will set up ten working groups and strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation in areas such as technology standards, clean technology, supply chain security, ICTS competitiveness, data governance and technology platforms, improper use of technology to threaten security and human rights, export controls, investment reviews, facilitating access to digital tools by SMEs, and global trade challenges. Because Trump’s trade war with China has had little effect, the first phase of the Economic and Trade Agreement signed by the two countries has not been properly implemented due to the impact of the epidemic, and France, Germany, and other EU countries have also avoided launching a full-scale “new cold war” with China, the Biden administration and the EU established the TTC with the aim of narrowing the scope of the attack, selecting key fields of strategic significance, and uniting allies to jointly deal with an “unnamed” adversary—China. The United States is not only winning over Europe, but also stirring up trouble in Asia-Pacific. On October 27, 2021, Biden proposed the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” initiative at the East Asia Summit and announced that the United States and its partners would formulate common goals in trade facilitation, digital economy and technology standards, supply chain resilience, low-carbon and clean energy, infrastructure, labor standards, and other areas of mutual interest under the framework. Biden did not elaborate on the specific content and goals of the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” initiative at the East Asia Summit. However, over the next two months, senior officials such as Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Raimondo occasionally revealed new information about the framework during their visits to Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asian countries. Although the details of the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” initiative have not been fully disclosed, the initiative reveals that the Biden administration’s version of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” has begun to significantly add economic and technological bargaining chips. It is a geoeconomic tactic employed by the United States in an attempt to use its allies and partners to weaken and put pressure on China’s current position in the Asia-Pacific economy.

2021 年 9 月 29 日,美国和欧盟宣布成立美欧贸易与技术委员会(TTC), 该委员会将成立十个工作组,在技术标准、清洁技术、供应链安全、ICTS 竞争力、数据治理和技术平台、不正当使用技术威胁安全和人权、出口管制、投资审查、促进中小企业获取数字工具、全球贸易挑战等领域加强美欧之间的合作。由于特朗普对华贸易战收效甚微,签订的第一阶段经贸协议受疫情影响并未得到较好的执行,而法国、德国和其他欧盟国家也避免与中国发起一场全面的“新冷战”。拜登政府联合欧盟成立 TTC,旨在缩小打击范围、挑选具有战略意义的关键领域,联合盟友共同应对“未点名”的对手——中国。美国不仅拉拢欧洲,更在亚太兴风作浪。2021 年 10 月 27 日,拜登在东亚峰会上提出了“印太经济框架”倡议,宣布美国与合作伙伴将在该框架下制定 贸易便利化、数字经济和技术标准、供应链弹性、低碳和清洁能源、基础设施、劳工标准和其他有共同利益领域内的共同目标。拜登在东亚峰会上并未详细阐述“印太经济框架”倡议的具体内容和目标,但随后两个月时间内,国务卿布林肯、商务部长雷蒙多等高官赴日本、韩国以及东南亚国家的访问进程中不时透露出有关该框架的新信息。尽管“印太经济框架”倡议的细节尚未完全公开,但该倡议揭示出了拜登政府版的“印太战略”开始明显增加了经济和科技筹码,是美国试图借助盟友、伙伴的力量削弱和打压中国在亚太经济中现有地位的地缘经济手法。

Third, arbitrarily trampling on international norms, they are relying on domestic U.S. laws to comprehensively escalate the science and technology warfare, corporate warfare, financial warfare, and cultural and educational warfare against China. The basic method of the Biden administration’s “extreme competition” with China in the field of science and technology is the attempt to completely ban previously normal contacts and exchanges between China and the United States in the field of advanced technology and continuing the Trump administration’s model of excessive “security-driven” (安全化) thinking. In particular, they have adopted an insane “exclusion policy” for companies, research institutions, and universities that have ties to or cooperate with the Chinese military. After Biden took office, the authority to formulate the “Military End User” List was transferred from the Department of Commerce and the Department of Defense to the Department of the Treasury. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department is responsible for the dynamic adjustment of the “Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industry Complex Companies List” (NS-CMIC List). This will help to rationalize the legal basis for the list. Previously, the legal basis for the list was partly derived from executive orders by the President and partly from legislation by Congress, with the issuance of many different directives. Now, it is uniformly enforced by OFAC in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations.

第三,肆意践踏国际准则,以美国国内法为核心全面升级对华科技战、企 业战、金融战和文教战。拜登政府在科技领域与中国进行“极限竞争”的基本手法,是试图全面禁止高科技领域中美原本正常的接触和交流,延续特朗普政府过度的“安全化”思维模式,尤其是对与中国军方有联系与合作的企业、研究机构和高等院校,采取了疯狂的“封杀政策”。拜登执政后将“军事终端用户”清单制定权限由商务部和国防部共管转移至财政部,由财政部海外资产控制办公室(Foreign Assets Control, OFAC)负责“中国军工复合体”清单(Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industry Complex Companies List, NS-CMICList)的动态调整。此举有 助于理顺清单出台的法理依据。此前该清单的法理依据,部分来源于总统行政 令,部分来源于国会立法,令出多头,如今统一依据《美国联邦法规》由OFAC 执行。

At the same time, the new “Entity List” released by the U.S. Department of Commerce imposes sanctions on Chinese companies on the grounds of so-called human rights issues in the Xinjiang region and “military involvement.” Judging from the dynamics of adjustments to the “Chinese Military-Industrial Complex” list and the “Entity List,” the Biden administration, while continuing the Trump administration’s thinking as regards sanctions against China, is also making efforts to reduce the arbitrariness of the sanctions list, enhance the coherence of policies, find a “just cause” [师出有名, can also mean a plausible pretext], and strengthen the legal basis for the release of the list.


At the same time, the Biden administration has comprehensively obstructed or even cut off scientific, cultural, and educational exchanges between the two countries. On May 29, 2020, the Trump administration issued an executive order suspending the entry of Chinese students and researchers into the United States, giving the justification that Chinese exchange students stole sensitive U.S. technology to promote the Chinese military modernization. At the same time, the “Seven Sons of National Defense” [国防七子, Chinese universities with close ties to the military] were included in the Entity List, and Chinese students and researchers from national defense universities became the “hardest hit area.” The Biden administration has continued this policy and uses it as an important means of restraining China’s scientific and technological development: From May 4 of the year the U.S. embassy restarted the approval of visa applications to mid-June, the student visa applications of more than 500 Chinese students were rejected. By looking at the distribution of the types of students whose visas were blocked, we can see they have the following characteristics: students from a national defense university or funded by the China Scholarship Council with research fields involving advanced and cutting-edge technology fields such as quantum computing, big data, semiconductors, biotechnology, 5G, nuclear technology, aerospace technology, and AI.

与此同时,拜登政府全面阻碍甚至断绝两国之间的科技文化和教育交流。2020年5月29日,特朗普政府以中国留学生窃取美国敏感技术用以推动中国军队现代化为由,推出一项行政令,暂停中国留学生和研究人员入境。同时,将 “国防七子”列入实体清单,军工院校出身的中国留学生与研究人员成“重灾 区”。拜登政府延续了这一政策并作为钳制中国科技发展的重要手段:从同年5月4日美国大使馆重启签证申请审批,到6 月中旬超过 500 个中国学生的留学 签证申请被拒。由签证受阻的学生群体分布来看,有以下几个特点:出身军工院校、受中国国家留学基金委员会资助,以及研究领域涉及到敏感技术行业如 量子计算、大数据、半导体、生物技术、5G、核技术、空间技术和 AI 等先进 的前沿技术领域。

Obstructing and comprehensively restricting the normal education and scientific research exchanges between China and the United States in science and engineering majors was one of the important measures in the Trump administration’s science and technology warfare against China. However, due to the obstacle posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the effect of these policies only materialized under the Biden administration. The scientific research levels and training systems of American colleges and universities in the fields of cutting-edge science and technology are the best in the world. Biden’s move is undoubtedly intended to “take the firewood from under the cauldron” [釜底抽薪, solve a problem at its root] by attacking China in the areas of basic scientific research and talent training in order to weaken China’s scientific research potential.

阻碍和全面限制理工科专业的中美正常教育和科研交流,是特朗普政府对 华科技战的重要举措之一,但由于新冠肺炎疫情的阻碍,这些政策的效力在拜登政府时期才得以发挥实质性的影响。美国高校在前沿科技领域的科研水平、 培养体系都是全球领先的,拜登此举无疑是意图从基础科研和人才培养的层面 对中国进行“釜底抽薪”以弱化中国的科研潜力。

Fourth, the Biden administration is attempting to “marginalize” China and vigorously promoting their global right to formulate technical standards in order to further restrict the development of innovation in China’s high-tech industries. The Trump administration believed that the Chinese government and enterprises cooperated to compete for dominance in the international market and expand their influence in international institutions and industry organizations. Viewing normal market behavior with such a Cold War mentality inevitably led them to take a hostile view of the achievements of Chinese companies in setting technical standards. Huawei represents the technological peak achieved by Chinese companies in the 5G field. In addition to seizing market share from companies in developed countries, more importantly, Huawei has seized the right to formulate some technical standards in this field, which resulted in frantic suppression by the Trump administration. After taking office, in an exclusive interview with CBS, Biden proposed that he would focus on international rules and conduct “extreme competition” with China. In terms of the fight for the right to set international technical standards, the Biden administration, on the one hand, retained the “security list” (安全清单) initiated by Trump and continued to disrupt the global supply chains of Chinese high-tech companies such as Huawei. On the other hand, at the Munich Security Conference, they called for U.S.-EU cooperation in the fields of cyberspace, AI, and biotechnology to jointly shape industry rules for advanced technologies and behavioral norms. At the U.S.-EU summit, Biden made full use of multilateral and bilateral dialogue mechanisms to repair and strengthen transatlantic relations and advocated for the establishment of a high-level U.S.-EU trade and technology council to strengthen coordination on international standard formulation for AI, Internet of Things, and other emerging technologies.

第四,拜登政府企图将中国“边缘化”,强势推进技术标准的全球制定权, 以此来进一步限制中国高科技产业创新的发展。特朗普政府认定,中国政府和企业合作争夺国际市场的主导权、拓展在国际机构和行业组织的影响力,以冷战思维看待正常的市场行为,必然导致其以敌对心态看待中国企业在制定技术标准方面的成就:华为代表中国企业在 5G领域所达到的技术巅峰,除了抢占发达国家企业的市场份额外,更重要的是掌握了该领域部分技术标准制定权,引起了特朗普政府的疯狂打压。拜登上台后在接受哥伦比亚广播公司的专访中提出,将专注国际规则,与中国进行“极限竞争”。在国际技术标准制定权的争夺方面,拜登政府一方面保留了特朗普推 出的“安全清单”,继续破坏华为等中国高科技企业的全球供应链;另一方面,在慕尼黑安全会议上号召美欧合作在网络空间、AI、生物技术领域共同塑造先进技术和行为规范的行业规则。在美欧峰会上,拜登充分利用多边和双边对话机制,修复并强化跨大西洋关系,主张建立一个高水平的美欧贸易与技术委员会在诸如 AI、物联网和其他新兴技术的国际标准制定上加强协调。

Technical standards are the basic architecture of industry development and directly affect the position of enterprises in the production chain and value chain. To seize the right to formulate international standards is to master the commanding heights of an industry and the right to have an international voice. This is extremely important for economic interests and strategic significance. The Biden administration is uniting its allies to compete for the right to set standards, which will help developed Western countries maintain their status in the global industrial division of labor system. This is done to achieve the strategic aim of confining Chinese high-tech enterprises to the middle and low end of the global value chain and maintain the technological hegemony of the United States.

技术标准是行业发展的基础性架构,直接影响到企业在产业链、价值链中 的地位,掌握国际标准制定权就是掌握一个行业的制高点和国际话语权,有着极为重要的经济利益和战略意义。拜登政府联合盟友争夺标准制定权,有助于 西方发达国家维护自身在全球产业分工体系的地位,以达到将中国高科技企业 规锁在全球价值链中低端的战略目的,维护美国的技术霸权。

Fifth, since the Biden administration took office, it has continued to challenge the bottom line of the one-China policy on the Taiwan issue, encouraged NATO countries to intervene in disputes in the South China Sea, and vigorously strengthened its military presence in the Western Pacific. The posture of military deterrence and containment towards China is becoming increasingly obvious. Of particular note is that the United States is constantly using strategic bargaining chips from the period of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, and even increasing the geoeconomic implications of the Indo-Pacific strategy to create a dual geopolitical and geoeconomic split in the Asia-Pacific region. This has become an obvious sign that, although the United States says it is currently opposed to a “new Cold War”, the fact is that it is actually preparing to launch a “new Cold War” against China. In September 2021, the United States signed the Trilateral Security Partnership (AUKUS) with Australia and the United Kingdom, committing to build and equip Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet. The significance of AUKUS is that it enhances Australia’s military capabilities to counter the rise of Chinese military power in the Indo-Pacific region. The conclusion of the AUKUS agreement is an important sign that the United States views the Asia-Pacific region as the core region for the “new Cold War” with China. During the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, the United States established the Australia, New Zealand, and United States Security Treaty (ANZUS) for the purpose of defending against the “communist threat.” The signing of the AUKUS agreement signifies that the United States is trying to regroup its strategic assets from the Cold War to contain China. The Quad mechanism of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia that the Biden administration is striving to promote is an attempt to create an Asian version of NATO in the Asia-Pacific region and expand the U.S.-led bilateral alliance to a so-called system of multilateral military alliances to jointly confront China.

第五,拜登政府上台以来,在台湾问题上持续挑战一个中国政策的底线, 拉拢北约国家介入南海争议,大力加强在西太平洋的军事存在力度,军事上威慑与遏制中国的态势日趋明显。尤为值得注意的是,美国正在不断使出美苏冷 战时期的战略筹码,甚至增加印太战略的地缘经济内涵以制造亚太地区地缘政 治和地缘经济的双重分裂。这已经成为美国当前嘴上说反对“新冷战”、但事实是在行动上准备展开对华“新冷战”的显著标志。2021年9月,美国与澳大利亚、英国签署三边安全伙伴关系条约(AUKUS),承诺为澳大利亚建造和装备核动力潜艇舰队 。AUKUS意味着提升澳大利亚军事能力以制衡中国在印太地区军事力量的崛起。缔结 AUKUS 的 协议是美国将亚太地区作为与中国进行“新冷战”的核心区域的重要标志。美苏冷战期间,美国组建了美澳新三边机制(ANZUS),其目的就是防御“共产主义威胁”。AUKUS协议的签署,意味着美国试图重拾其冷战时的战略资产来遏制中国。拜登政府竭力推进的美日印澳四边机制更是试图在亚太地区打造亚洲版的北约,将美国主导的双边同盟扩大到所谓联合抗中的多边军事同盟体系。

Although the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy report has yet to be released, its Indo-Pacific strategy will naturally be an enhanced version of the Trump-era Indo-Pacific strategy. Its core content is not only the addition of the “Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative” that marks out China as the focus of the global security strategy, but there are also diplomatic and military actions to encourage EU and NATO member states to intervene in regional security hotspots such as the South China Sea. It also has geoeconomic competition tactics that attempt to restore U.S. dominance in commercial and trade relations in the Asia-Pacific region, reduce the economic dependence of countries in the region on China, and force more countries to “choose sides” between the United States and China.

尽管拜登政府的印太战略报告仍未出台,但其印太战略必然是特朗普时代 的印太战略的增强版。其核心内容不仅有增加“印太威慑倡议”这样将中国作为全球安全战略盯防重点的内容,有拉拢欧盟和北约成员国介入南海等地区安 全热点的外交和军事行动,更有试图重新夺回美国在亚太地区商贸关系的主导 权、降低地区内国家对华经济依赖、从而迫使更多的国家在美中之间“选边”的地缘经济竞争手法。

III. Dilemmas Facing the Biden Administration’s China Policy


Compared with that of the Trump administration, the Biden administration’s China policy is long-term, comprehensive, and strategic in nature, and its methods and practices are also more vicious. However, the Biden administration still faces many domestic and international uncertainties if it wants to implement a “new Cold War” against Chinese advanced technology and industry in the short term.

拜登政府的中国政策同特朗普政府相比具有长期性、全面性和战略性的特 点,其手段和做法也更为恶毒。然而,拜登政府想要在短期内实现对华高科技和产业“新冷战”,仍然面临诸多国内和国际不确定性。

First, after Biden took office, he tried to maintain the unity of the Democratic Party in order to push Congress to pass two important bills, the USICA and the Infrastructure Law, but the Democratic Party was divided over the issue of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan: This led Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, who is also a Democrat, publicly questioned the Biden administration’s hasty withdrawal of troops. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed publicly condemned the failure of the Democratic and Republican administrations in Afghanistan over the past 20 years and said he would hold a hearing on the matter. Republican lawmakers also questioned the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghan withdrawal.


At the same time as the internal divisions within the Democratic Party, social dissatisfaction in the United States is also rising. According to a Gallup poll, due to the issue of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the satisfaction of the U.S. public with Biden’s administration dropped to 43%, and more than half of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction for the first time, reaching 53%. Together the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the failure of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan have created the current predicament faced by the Biden administration, but domestic social problems obviously have a more serious impact on the Biden administration. In the 2022 congressional midterm elections, it remains to be seen whether the Democratic Party can retain its majority of seats, and the goal of “coordination of the government and society” will test the ability of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Party Whip James Cliburn to keep the members of their own party in line for a relatively long time. However, the more important issue is whether members of Congress and voters will be satisfied with the Biden administration’s achievements in domestic and foreign affairs.

民主党内部分裂的同时,美国国内社会不满意度也在提升。据盖洛普民调 显示,受阿富汗撤军问题以及新冠肺炎疫情的影响,美国民众对拜登执政的满意度降到了43%,不满意度首次过半数,达到了 53%。新冠肺炎疫情的冲击叠加阿富汗撤军失利共同造就了拜登政府当前困境,但国内社会问题显然对拜 登政府的冲击更严重。2022 年的国会中期选举,民主党能否保住多数党的席位仍有待观察,“府会协同”的目标将在相当长时间内考验众议院议长南希·佩洛西和党鞭詹姆斯·克莱本驾驭本党议员的能力,但更重要的是拜登政府内政外 交所取得的成绩能否让国会议员和选民满意。

Second, the implementation of various domestic economic agendas in the Biden administration has met strong resistance, and the existing plan to reshape domestic economic competitiveness faces intense opposition from the Republican Party. Significant uncertainty remains as to whether Biden will be able to achieve his high-tech investment and manufacturing center goals during his presidency. If the Biden administration fails to make voters truly appreciate the practical benefits brought about by policies such as the infrastructure bill and innovation bill before the 2022 congressional midterm elections, this together with the impact of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on the reputation of the Biden administration, will likely cause the Democratic Party to lose control of Congress, thereby impacting the advancement of subsequent Biden administration policies. On October 12, 2021, the House of Representatives passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling by U.S. $480 billion, so the Biden administration was able to avoid a shutdown on October 18. However, with the debt ceiling, it is difficult to support the long-term operation of the government, so this was only a short-term solution. As the “big deadline” approached on December 15th, Democrats passed legislation in the House to provide a “one-time” fast-track for bills raising the debt ceiling—A simple majority in the Senate was needed to pass the bill, allowing Congress to pass a bill that would increase the debt ceiling by U.S. $2.5 trillion and avoid a government shutdown. Whether the Biden administration can properly handle the domestic governance crisis and the crisis of confidence will directly affect whether the Democratic Party can maintain its majority after the 2022 midterm elections. If the Democrats lose their majority in Congress, the Republican-led Congress is bound to frustrate Biden’s efforts for the “coordination of the government and society.” This would also adversely affect plans to rebuild the competitiveness of the domestic economy.

第二,拜登政府国内各项经济议程的执行阻力重重,重塑国内经济竞争力 的现有方案面临共和党的强烈反对。拜登是否能够在执政期内如愿实现高科技投资和制造业中心的目标,仍然存在着重大的不确定性。在 2022年国会中期选举之前,拜登政府如若无法让选民切实体会到基建法案、创新法案等政策所带来的现实利好,叠加阿富汗撤军对拜登政府声誉的冲击,民主党很可能会失去国会的控制权,从而影响拜登政府后续政策的推进。2021年10月12日,众议院通过了将债务上限提高4800亿美元的法案,拜登政府得以避免在10月18日停摆,但债务上限的额度难以支持政府长期运作,仅是短期的解决方案。12 月 15 日“大限”来临之际,民主党在众议院通过一项立法为提高债务上限的议案提供一个“一次性”的快速通道——只需在参议院有简单多数的赞成票即可通过议案,从而使得国会得以通过增加2.5万亿美元债务上限额度的法案,避免了政府的停摆。拜登政府能否妥善处理国内治理危机、信任危机,将直接影响2022年中期选举后民主党的多数党地位,如若民主党在国会失去多数席位,共和党主导下的国会势必会打破拜登“府会协同”的努力,也会对重建国内经济竞争力的计划产生不利的影响。

Third, from the Asia-Pacific to Europe, it remains to be seen whether industrialized countries and many developing countries will follow the lead of the United States. As long as China steadily follows its own path, the United States cannot kidnap the hold the world hostage to its hegemonic interests. Biden visited Europe from June 9 to 16, 2021. This was his first trip abroad as president, showing Biden’s emphasis on European allies and his determination to repair transatlantic relations. However, it will be difficult for U.S.-European relations to go back to their previous state. Since the pandemic, the United States and major European countries face the risk of political polarization and social disunity. The increasing inward focus of the various countries has hindered the introduction of foreign policy, the investment of resources, and the implementation of concrete actions. The coordination of U.S. and European interests is confronted with structural contradictions. The room for maneuver and sustainability of U.S. concessions to Europe are uncertain, and it will be difficult to maintain the U.S.-European diplomatic alignment over the long term. The “Quad Mechanism” is trying to become an “Asian version of NATO” to contain China, but U.S. experts have also commented that the “Quad Mechanism” looks more like a loose organization such as the “BRICs” that have trouble working together. Biden wants to build an anti-China alliance. On December 9-10, 2021, the U.S. government held a farcical online “Democracy Summit” attended by more than 110 countries and regions from around the world. Even the U.S. media was full of complaints about the summit, pointing out that, given the tarnished state of America’s own democracy and the world’s still-difficult task of fighting the pandemic, it was a completely inappropriate moment to hold a “Democracy Summit” along ideological lines. The Chinese government firmly pointed out that such a loose “Democracy Summit” aimed at China and Russia was more of a geopolitical farce. The series of unilateral foreign policies such as Trump’s “withdrawal of international organizations” and “broken treaties” has shaken the foundation of the U.S. alliance system and its control over international mechanisms to a certain extent. This makes it actually difficult to simultaneously achieve the strategic intents of restoring U.S. influence and building a values-based alliance system to contain China. The United States wants to force more countries to side with it in the Sino-U.S. strategic competition, which is even more damaging to world stability and prosperity. On December 26, 2021, Chey Tae-won, Chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of SK Group, loudly accused the United States of suppressing China in the high-tech field in the Korean media, claiming they were trying to bring a “new Cold War” to the global supply chain.

第三,从亚太到欧洲,工业化国家和众多发展中国家是否会站队跟着美国跑,仍需拭目以待。只要中国走稳走实走好自己的路,美国是无法为了霸权利益而绑架世界的。2021年6月9日至16日拜登出访欧洲。这是其任内首次出访,显示拜登 对欧洲盟友的重视和修复跨大西洋关系的决心。然而,美欧关系难以回到过去。疫情后的美国和欧洲主要国家都存在政治极化和社会撕裂风险,各国不断加强的内顾性,掣肘外交政策的出台、资源投入和具体实施。美欧利益协调面临结构性矛盾,美对欧让利空间与可持续性并不确定,也难以长久维系美欧外交步 调一致。“四边机制”试图成为遏制中国的“亚洲版北约”,但美国专家也评论认为,“四边机制”看上去更像是“金砖四国”这样一个难以产生共通之处的 松散组织。拜登想要建立抗中联盟,2021年12月9—10日,美国政府举办了全球 110 多个国家和地区参加的线上“民主峰会”闹剧。即便是美国媒体对此次峰会的举办也充满怨言,指出在美国自己的民主状态低迷和世界抗击疫情任务依然沉重的背景下,举办意识形态划线的“民主峰会”完全不合时宜。中国政府坚定地指出,这样的一个松散的、意在针对中俄两国的“民主峰会”,更多的是 一场地缘政治的闹剧。特朗普“退群”、“毁约”等一系列单边主义外交政策,一定程度上动摇了美国盟友体系的根基以及对国际机制的掌控力,恢复美国影响力、打造以价值观为基础的盟友体系以达到遏制中国的战略意图事实上难以 同时实现。美国想要迫使更多国家在美中战略竞争中选边美国,更是损害世界的稳定与繁荣。2021年12 月26日,韩国工商会会长、SK集团总裁崔泰源喊话韩国媒体,指责美国在高科技领域打压中国,就是试图把“新冷战”带到全球供应链。

Fourth, a “complete decoupling” from China’s economy and technology would be difficult to achieve. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc around the world, it is not realistically practical to exclude China from the world supply chain system. According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, in the first half of 2021, the total import and export value of China’s trade in goods was CNY 18.07 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 27.1%. Specifically, exports were CNY 9.85 trillion, an increase of 28.1%; and imports were CNY 8.22 trillion, an increase of 25.9%. Compared with the same period in 2019, combined imports and exports, exports, and imports increased by 22.8%, 23.8%, and 21.7% respectively. Specifically, imports and exports to China’s top three trading partners, ASEAN, the EU, and the United States were CNY 2.66 trillion, CNY 2.52 trillion, and CNY 2.21 trillion, an increase of 27.8%, 26.7%, and 34.6% respectively. Imports and exports to Japan were CNY 1.18 trillion, an increase of 14.5%. These data points show that third-party countries other than China and the United States have difficulty choosing between “values diplomacy” and economic reality. China is one of the few countries that has effectively controlled the domestic epidemic and restored production in an orderly manner. The majority of world countries will not truly “decouple” from China, the country most comprehensively and closely connected to the global production chain, supply chain, and value chain system, because of pressure and instigation by the United States.

第四,与中国经济和科技“全面脱钩”难以实现。新冠肺炎疫情肆虐全球 的背景下,将中国排除在世界供应链体系之外不具备现实可操作性。据中国海关总署统计,2021 年上半年中国货物贸易进出口总值18.07 万亿 元人民币,比上年同期增长27.1%。其中,出口9.85 万亿元,增长28.1%;进 口 8.22 万亿元,增长25.9%。与2019 年同期相比,进出口、出口、进口分别增 长 22.8%、23.8%、21.7%。其中,对前三大贸易伙伴东盟、欧盟、美国分别进出口 2.66 万亿、2.52 万亿、2.21 万亿元,分别增长 27.8%、26.7%、34.6%;对 日本进出口 1.18 万亿元,增长 14.5%。一系列数据表明,中美以外的第三方国家在“价值观外交”和经济现实面前难做取舍。中国是为数不多有效控制国内疫情、恢复生产秩序的国家,世界绝大部分国家不会因为美国的施压和怂恿而与全球产业链、供应链和价值链体系上联系最为全面和紧密的中国真正“脱钩”。

Fifth, the Chinese government has actively responded to the hostile practices of the Biden administration that risk bringing a “new Cold War” to Sino-U.S. relations. China not only emphasizes that they have the courage to fight and daring to fight, but also starts from the concept of building a “community with a shared future for mankind” and still strives to get the relationship between the two countries back on its normal track of cooperation and controllable relations. In addition to unilaterally spoiling for a fight, imposing restrictions, and creating obstructions, the China policy pursued by the Biden administration for nearly a year has actually been lackluster. On March 19, 2021, representatives of China and the United States held a high-level strategic dialogue in Anchorage, the first face-to-face meeting between high-level Chinese and U.S. diplomats since Biden took office. U.S. Secretary of State Blinken pointed out that the Sino-U.S. relationship will be “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be” to ensure a “rules-based international order.” In response, Chinese representative Yang Jiechi responded: “The vast majority of countries in the world do not recognize the universal values advocated by the United States, do not recognize the opinions of the United States as representative of international public opinion, and do not recognize the rules made by a few people as constituting the foundation of the international order,” and that the United States is also not qualified to “talk to China from a position of strength.” On July 26 of the same year, when Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Sherman in Tianjin, he proposed three bottom lines for how to effectively manage differences and prevent Sino-U.S. relations from spiraling out of control: (1) The United States shall not challenge, slander, or even attempt to subvert the path and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics; (2) The United States must not try to obstruct or even interrupt China’s development process; and (3) The United States must not violate China’s national sovereignty, much less compromise China’s territorial integrity. In addition, during the talks, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng also put forward two lists: one was a list of errors for the United States to correct and the other was a list of key cases that China was concerned about. The United States, for its part, continues to attack China on human rights issues, cybersecurity issues, Taiwan issues, and South China Sea issues. However, in Biden’s first year in office, his bullying posture against China simply hit the wall in front of China.

第五,对于拜登政府不惜将“新冷战”带给中美关系的敌对做法,中国政 府积极应对,既强调勇于斗争和敢于斗争,更从建设“人类命运共同体”的理念出发,仍然努力追求两国关系重回合作与可控关系的正常轨道。而拜登政府 执政近一年来的中国政策除了单方面斗狠、设限和设堵之外,事实上乏善可陈。2021 年 3 月 19 日,中美两国代表在安克雷奇举行高层战略对话,这是拜登执政以来中美双方首次高级别外交官员的面对面会谈。美国国务卿布林肯指出,美中关系“应该是竞争性的、可以是合作性的、必要的时候就该是对抗性的”,以确保“基于规则的国际秩序”。对此,中方代表杨洁篪回应道:“世界上绝大多数国家不承认美国所倡导的普世价值,不承认美国的意见可以代表国际舆论,不承认少数人制定的规则将成为国际秩序的基础”;美国也没有资格“从实力的地位出发同中国谈话”。同年 7 月 26 日,中国国务委员兼外长王毅在天津会见美国常务副国务卿舍曼时,就如何有效管控分歧、防止中美关系失控提出三条底线:(1)美国不得挑战、诋毁甚至试图颠覆中国特色社会主义道路和制度;(2)美国不得试图阻挠甚至打断中国的发展进程;(3)美国不得侵犯中国国家主权,更不能破坏中国领土完整。此外,会谈期间,中国外交部副部长谢峰还提出两份清单:一份是要求美方纠错的清单,一份是中方关切的重点个案清单。美国则继续以人权问题、网络安全问题、台湾问题、南海问题对中国进行发难。但拜登执政第一年,其对华霸凌态势只会在中国面前碰壁。

In the face of China’s resolute counterattack, the Biden administration had to draw back and adjust. During the Tianjin talks in July 2021, the U.S. representatives proposed to set up a “guardrail” in Sino-U.S. relations. On October 4 of the same year, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai delivered a speech at the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she used the steel and photovoltaic industries as examples to prove the adverse impact of Chinese industrial policies on the development of related industries in other countries. She went on to point out that Chinese policy in the semiconductor industry will also be a “zero-sum game,” causing massive damage to market-based economies including the United States. This was used to justify the science and technology warfare launched by the United States. At the same time, she pointed out that the executive branch will adjust its trade policy with China. On the basis of evaluating the results of China’s implementation of Phase One of the Economic and Trade Agreement, they will launch targeted tariff exclusion processes and continue to pay attention to issues such as state-centered, non-market-oriented trade practices that did not appear in Phase One of the Economic and Trade Agreement. This is a veiled admission by the Biden administration that the comprehensive “decoupling” policy towards China is not only unrealistic, but also directly damages major interests of the United States. Katherine Tai’s proposal of Sino-U.S. economic “recoupling” not only shows the Biden administration’s helpless acquiescence to the reality that the total trade volume between China and the United States has risen sharply since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the “decoupling” of the U.S. and Chinese economies has failed, but also shows that the Biden administration’s economic and trade policies towards China cannot achieve a comprehensive and rapid economic “decoupling.”


Since Biden took office, the Chinese government has, from good intentions, tenaciously insisted that the relationship between the two countries return to the track of normalization, forcing the Biden administration to rethink and adjust its approach to dialogue with China. On September 10, 2021, the heads of state of China and the United States held a scheduled phone conversation for the purpose of strategic communication and exchange on Sino-U.S. relations and related issues between the two sides. Both sides agreed that in-depth communication between the leaders of China and the United States on Sino-U.S. relations and major international issues was very important in guiding the correct development of Sino-U.S. relations. They agreed to continue to maintain regular contact through various means and that they would instruct the working levels (工作层, the levels of government engaged in the practical work) of both sides to step up their work and conduct extensive dialogue so as to create conditions for the development of Sino-U.S. relations. On October 6, Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CCP Central Committee, met with Jake Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, in Zurich, Switzerland. This was a new move by the two countries to implement the spirit of the call between the two heads of state on September 10 and make joint efforts to put Sino-U.S. relations back on the right track of healthy and stable development. On October 9, Liu He, member of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee, Vice Premier of the State Council, and head Chinese representative for Sino-U.S. Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, held a video call with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and the two sides had a pragmatic, candid, and constructive exchange. On November 16, the top leaders of China and the United States, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, held a video meeting. Xi Jinping pointed out three principles that should be upheld in friendly relations between China and the United States: first, mutual respect, second, peaceful coexistence, and third, mutually beneficial cooperation. Biden emphasized the importance of responsibly managing competition and advocated for ensuring that the relationship between the two countries does not devolve into conflict and for ensuring unimpeded exchanges. The two sides conducted a full and in-depth conversation and exchange on strategic, overall, and fundamental issues related to the development of Sino-U.S. relations as well as important issues of mutual concern. The Sino-U.S. dialogue during the one-year-old Biden presidency shows that there is still hope for exploring and working towards the establishment of a rational, controllable, and fair competition model for the relationship between the two countries.

拜登上台以来,中国政府坚韧、善意地要求两国关系重回正常化轨道的一 系列做法,迫使拜登政府不得不重新思考并调整与中国的对话方式。2021年9月 10 日,中美两国元首应约通话,就中美关系和双方有关问题进行战略性沟通和交流。双方一致认为,中美元首就中美关系和重大国际问题深入沟通对引领 中美关系正确发展非常重要,同意继续通过多种方式保持经常性联系,将责成双方工作层加紧工作、广泛对话,为中美关系向前发展创造条件。10月6日,中共中央政治局委员、中央外事工作委员会办公室主任杨洁篪同美国总统国家安全事务助理沙利文在瑞士苏黎世举行会晤,这是两国落实 9月10日两国元首通话精神、共同努力推动中美关系重回健康稳定发展正确轨道的新行动。10月9 日,中共中央政治局委员、国务院副总理、中美全面经济对话中方牵头人刘鹤与美贸易代表戴琪举行视频通话,双方进行了务实、坦诚、建设性的交流。11 月 16 日,中美两国最高领导人习近平和拜登举行视频会晤。习近平指出了 中美相处中应坚持的三点原则:一是互相尊重,二是和平共处,三是合作共赢。拜登则强调了负责任地管控竞争的重要性,主张确保两国关系不会演化成冲突,保障交流的畅通无阻。双方就事关中美关系发展的战略性、全局性、根本性问 题以及共同关心的重要问题进行了充分、深入的沟通和交流。拜登执政一年来的中美对话,显示出探讨和摸索建立理性、可控与公平竞争的两国关系模式仍有希望。

IV. Conclusion


The “Four-Pronged Approach” of strategic suppression of China by the Biden administration is not only determined by the strategic culture for maintaining U.S. hegemony and the belief in the superiority of U.S.-style democracy. Even more, it is determined by the current political and social divisions and oppositions in the United States as well as the “internal turmoil” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and racism. The more turbulent and tarnished the U.S. internal situation becomes, the greater the urgency in U.S. political and strategic circles to suppress China and prevent China from catching up to the United States. The “strategic competition with China” announced by the Biden administration is, in fact, a strategic offensive launched by the United States in an attempt to maintain its hegemonic superiority and reopen the gap in power between China and itself. Sino-U.S. relations are still far from entering a “strategic stalemate.”


Although the Biden administration’s China policy has been adjusted and they have proposed suggestions such as Sino-U.S. economic “recoupling” and expanding and continuing dialogue channels between the two countries, the Biden administration’s “Four-Pronged Approach” and attempts to suppress China will be part of the policy of strategic competition with China for the long term. We must have no illusions about this. Of course, the relationship between China and the United States, as the relationship between the world’s largest economy and the second-largest economy, does not have the nature of a “zero-sum game.” The common hope of the international community is that China and the United States will manage and control their competition through dialogue and achieve a relationship of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation. The long-term stability of Sino-U.S. relations requires the Biden administration to substantively adjust the comprehensive policy of suppressing and containing China in the economic and security fields across multiple dimensions. Recent adjustments of Biden’s policies focus more on effectively allocating domestic resources, alleviating high inflation, and integrating alliances. In key high-tech fields, they are attempting to form a situation of comprehensive containment against China, prevent China’s industrial upgrade, and confine China to the middle and low end of the global value chain so as to achieve the comprehensive suppression of China’s economic development and military technology over a longer term. Such U.S. policy toward China will be continued over the long term. The challenge that the Biden administration poses to China in the high-tech field is bound to be more threatening and long-term, and the competition between the great powers will be sharp and complex. This requires and pushes China to strengthen its determination, vision, and capabilities in order to deal with challenges as never before.


First, China must strengthen the construction of its domestic legislative system and promote the process of rule of law construction for national security in the fields of commerce and trade. Since Biden took power, he has worked hard to create “coordination of the government and society” measures to restrict China’s economic, trade, science and technology, and cultural exchanges. China also needs to promote relevant national capacity building in this field. The adoption of the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law of the People’s Republic of China at the 29th Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress on June 10, 2021 provides a vivid example. The strategic competition between China and the United States will continue for a long time. Building a complete legal system is not only necessary to counter U.S. sanctions and safeguard national interests. Even more so, it also addresses the long-term strategic competition between China and the United States and the need to improve China’s own domestic governance capabilities.

首先,中国需要加强国内立法体系建设,推动国家安全在商贸领域内的法 治建设进程。拜登上台后努力打造“府会协同”的对华经贸、科技和文化交流的限制措施,中国同样也需要在该领域内促进相关国家能力建设。2021年6月10日第十三届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第二十九次会议通过《中华人民共 和国反外国制裁法》就是一个生动的案例。中美之间的战略竞争将在相当长时间内持续下去,构建完备的法制既是反击美国制裁、维护国家利益的需要,更 是面对中美战略竞争的长期性、提升中国自身国内治理能力的需要。

In addition, China must optimize industrial policies and enhance innovation capabilities to deal with technological blockades. The infrastructure bill and innovation bill have been the focus of efforts to revive domestic economic competitiveness under Biden’s presidency. The implementation of innovation in the high-tech industry must be undertaken with a complete supply chain network and also relies on developed infrastructure to provide channels for sales to the world. In contrast, China’s rapid development in the field of infrastructure construction has laid a solid material foundation for future strategic competition with the United States, and industrial policy, as an important means of China’s economic rise, should also play a more active role in the era of great-power competition: China must devote more resources in the field of science and technology to support key industries such as 5G, chips, new energy, and electric vehicles, to form international comparative advantages, to build a complete production chain, and to achieve technological independence and control; while creating new growth points for economic development, China must strengthen international cooperation in the field of science and technology, promote the sustainable and healthy development of the high-tech industry, optimize and transform the domestic economic structure, and improve the quality and efficiency of economic development; using new infrastructure construction and dual circulation as opportunities, China must compensate for industry shortcomings and accelerate industrial agglomeration and production chain integration in order to better safeguard national economic security.

其次,优化产业政策,提升应对技术封锁的创新能力。基建法案和创新法 案是拜登执政后重振国内经济竞争力的重心所在。高科技行业的创新落地,需要完备的供应链网络加以承接,同时也依赖发达的基础设施提供销往世界的渠 道。相比之下,中国在基建领域的长足发展已为今后对美战略竞争打下坚实的 物质基础,而产业政策作为中国经济崛起的重要手段在大国竞争时代也应发挥更积极的作用:在科技领域倾斜更多的资源以支持关键行业如 5G、芯片、新能 源和电动汽车等领域形成国际比较优势、构建完整的产业链、实现技术自主可控,为经济发展创造新的增长点的同时,加强科技领域的国际合作,推动高科 技行业的持续健康发展、国内经济结构优化转型、经济发展增质提效,以新基 建和双循环为契机,补足产业短板,加速产业集聚及产业链融合,以更好地维护国家经济安全。

Furthermore, China must further deepen reform and opening up and prepare for a “Second WTO Accession” so as to connect the commerce, society, and personnel of China and the world in a closer, more pragmatically, and more efficient manner. China officially completed the approval process for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on April 15, 2021 and formally submitted its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on September 16. This is the only way to deal with the “extreme competition” of the United States given the new situation—promote development through reform and seize opportunities through opening up: China must optimize its business environment, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and enhance China’s attractiveness to overseas capital in order to form stronger economic ties; China must strengthen cooperation in the field of climate with countries along the “Belt and Road” and among China, the United States, and Europe, strengthen international cooperation in clean technology, green energy, green finance, and carbon neutrality and carbon peaking across the global production chain, and strive to achieve strategic mutual trust with the United States on climate issues in order to build a global green economic governance system. By promoting regional economic integration and negotiating and signing free trade arrangements and other flexible means, strengthening economic and trade ties with various economies, making every effort to increase the costs of the forcible “decoupling” between the United States and China, China can resist the tide of de-globalization with a more active and open posture.

再者,进一步深化改革开放,准备“第二次入世”,让中国和世界的商贸、 社会和人员联系更加紧密、务实和高效。中国于 2021年 4 月 15 日正式完成《区域全面经济伙伴关系协定》(RCEP)的核准程序,9月 16 日正式递交加入《全面与进步跨太平洋伙伴关系协定》(CPTPP)申请。这是新形势下应对美国“极限竞争”的必由之路——以改革促发展、以开放抓机遇:中国需优化营商环境,推动贸易和投资自由化、便利化,增强中国对海外资本的吸引力,以形成更坚韧的经济纽带;加强与“一带一路”沿线国家及中、美、欧之间在气候领域的合作,在清洁技术、绿色能源、绿色金融以及全球产业链的碳中和、碳达峰上增强国际合作,力促在气候议题上与美国达成战略互信以构建全球绿色经济治理体系。以推动区域经济一体化、商签自贸安排等灵活手段,强化与各个经济体的经贸联系,全力提升美国与中国强行“脱钩”的各项成本,以更积极、更开放的姿态抵御逆全球化浪潮。

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Cite This Page

倪桂桦 (Ni Guihua), 朱锋 (Zhu Feng). "The Situation and Dilemmas of the Biden Administration's Strategic Competition with China [拜登政府对华战略竞争的态势与困境]". CSIS Interpret: China, original work published in Asia-Pacific Security and Maritime Affairs [亚太安全与海洋研究], January 26, 2022

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