Biden’s China policy is doomed from the start – Middle East Monitor18 Marzo 2021
A much anticipated US foreign policy move under the Biden administration on how to counter China’s unhindered economic growth and political ambitions came in the form of a virtual summit on 12 March linking the United States with India, Australia and Japan. Although the so-called Quad — Quadrilateral Security Dialogue — revealed nothing new in the participants’ joint statement, the leaders of these four countries spoke about a “historic” meeting, described by The Diplomat website as “a significant milestone in the evolution of the grouping”.
Actually, the joint statement contains little substance and certainly nothing new by way of a blueprint on how to reverse — or even slow — Beijing’s geopolitical successes, growing military confidence and increasing presence in or around strategic global waterways.
For years, the Quad has been busy formulating a unified China strategy but it has failed to devise anything of practical significance. “Historic” meetings aside, China is the world’s only major economy that is predicted to yield significant economic growth this year, and imminently. International Monetary Fund projections show that the Chinese economy is expected to expand by 8.1 per cent in 2021, whereas according to data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, America’s GDP declined by around 3.5 per cent in 2020.
The Quad began in 2007 and was revived in 2017 with the obvious aim of repulsing China’s advance on all fields. Like most American alliances, the Quad is the political manifestation of a military alliance, namely the Malabar Naval Exercises. The latter started in 1992 and soon expanded to include all four countries.
Since Washington’s “pivot to Asia”, the reversal of established US foreign policy that was predicated on placing greater focus on the Middle East, there is little evidence that its confrontational policies have weakened Beijing’s presence, trade or diplomacy across the continent. Aside from close encounters between the US and Chinese navies in the South China Sea, there is very little else to report.
While much media coverage has focused on this, little has been said about China’s pivot to the Middle East, which has been far more successful than the American geostrategic shift as an economic and political endeavour.
The seismic change in US foreign policy priorities stemmed from its failure to translate the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq into a decipherable geo-economic success as a result of seizing control of Iraqi oil, the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves. The US strategy proved to be a complete blunder.