Published on 19 Jun 2021

Alliance of democracies? Small circle, Cold War mentality

The Straits Times, page A24

As United States President Joe Biden rallies his democratic allies to deal with what they view as an increasingly aggressive China, pitting their liberal values against autocratic governments, Beijing's strategy has not only been to mock them, but to play up their failings, especially as political systems. Analysts say Mr Biden's game plan to home in on this ideological clash as an effort to discredit Beijing has little impact on China internally and externally. "Biden's statements are entirely in line with the United States' current approach to China. Beijing would be concerned if there is any attempt by Biden to make some kind of grand agreement with (President Vladimir) Putin to reduce Russia's support for China," said Dr Benjamin Ho, asst prof at the China Programme of RSIS.

But Beijing is unlikely to change course, says Dr Dylan Loh, who studies Chinese foreign policy at NTU. "Biden's appraisal and framing of the tussle with China as an existential one between democracies and autocracies will have made it clear to policymakers and political elites that despite Biden's inclination for diplomacy, the broad strokes of US policy towards China remain unchanged," he said.

Read the article here (for subscribers).

Photo: Tabrez Syed on Unsplash

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