Billions across the globe ushered in the Lunar New Year and Year of the Ox this week. As the holiday commenced, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping held their first call since Biden took office.
The call focused on how the United States and China can continue to work together, with President Xi warning that confrontation would be a "disaster." Biden emphasized Washington's willingness to engage in multilateral cooperation, specifically regarding climate change and fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Xi also expressed his desire for "win-win" cooperation, and recognized the significance of restoring China-U.S. relations. While the U.S.-China relationship is likely to stabilize under the new U.S. administration, President Biden later warned a bipartisan group of Senators that China will "eat our lunch" on infrastructure, the environment, and a host of other issues.
The Biden administration also announced it would conduct a full review of America's national strategy towards China, in areas such as military, intelligence, and technology. In his first speech at the Pentagon, President Biden said that the review "will require a whole-of-government effort, bipartisan cooperation in Congress, and strong alliances and partners." The review, which will be led by Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner, will identify top priorities and produce recommendations. For more on the path ahead, read An Opportunity for Rapprochement or Business as Usual? from Charles Street.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.