Chinese state media has been hopeful that Biden will ease up on Trump’s China offensive, despite indications from the Biden team that they will hold China accountable for its trade and human rights abuses.
On Thursday, the state-run Global Times newspaper responded to Biden’s latest comments by predicting a continuation of the tensions between the U.S. and Europe that have run throughout Trump’s term.
“Europe and the Biden team have the strong will to show their close ties after Biden assumes office,” Global Times acknowledged. “But the U.S. and Europe’s joint response to the so-called China challenge remains a question mark.”
“The U.S. and Europe feel uncomfortable about the West’s relative decline,” Global Times added. “However, the U.S. feels its hegemony is being challenged by China’s rise, while Europe sees more economic competition.”
This perceived difference in priority means “it would be hard for the U.S. and Europe to coordinate to oppose the so-called China challenge,” the newspaper said. This challenge, it claimed, is “to a large extent, imaginary.”
“Europe may be reluctant to promote new Western unity with the U.S. at its center, and on the basis of the Trump administration’s radical policy toward China. New frictions will be inevitable.
“But if, on the other hand, Europe gets to define Western unity and the U.S. makes fewer decisions and provides more resources, then Washington will never accept it.”