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      Home / Opinion / Chen Weihua

      Let's hope Biden fixes blunders of predecessor

      By Chen Weihua | China Daily | Updated: 2020-11-27 07:29
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      A photo of Joe Biden. [Photo/Agencies]

      US president-elect Joe Biden's announcement of his foreign policy team on Tuesday is good news for China and the world which have suffered dearly from the incumbent US administration's disruptive and destructive "America first" policy.

      By appointing people such as veteran diplomat Tony Blinken as secretary of state, Biden seems to be bidding farewell to the unpredictability of the outgoing US administration. That unpredictability has caused huge anxiety not just for the business community but the whole world as the present US administration kept violating or withdrawing from multilateral treaties and global organizations.

      Like the rest of the world, China welcomes the Biden team's pledge to return to multilateralism. Without the United States as a key player, it will be much harder for the world to tackle critical global challenges such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the floundering global economy and post-pandemic global governance.

      The new administration wants the US to regain the global leadership. But such ambitions can be achieved only when the US works with all countries, not just its allies. Indeed, US allies from Europe to Asia have made it clear that they don't want to be forced to choose between China and the US.

      The emphasis on diplomacy by Biden's foreign policy team is a return to normalcy. The naming of former secretary of state John Kerry as presidential climate envoy with a seat on the National Security Council suggests the new administration is serious about rejoining the Paris Agreement and making its pledge on carbon neutrality.

      Effective cooperation between the US and China to fight climate change is vital given the two countries are the largest emitters as well as the leaders in clean energy. If China and the US can cooperate on pandemic response, climate change, global economic governance, and agree to lead the global economic recovery, it will help build much-needed mutual understanding and trust, which have deteriorated because of the current US administration's reckless push for a new Cold War against China.

      In this sense, the new US administration has a lot to do to fix Trump's blunders, from punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and bans on Chinese tech companies to persecution of Chinese news outlets and journalists based in the US and the Confucius Institutes that teach Chinese language and culture.

      In his interview to NBC News on Tuesday, Biden said his presidency will not be "a third Obama term". Yet in terms of China-US relations, he should revive the dialogue and exchange mechanisms that in the past proved effective in improving and stabilizing bilateral relations.

      Also, Biden should not continue playing the zero-sum game with China like some of his predecessors did. And he has to show the courage to end the new wave of McCarthyism in US society.

      No one denies that there is much for China to improve on various fronts. Most Chinese people would welcome the world to contribute to China's betterment as long as their motive is not to curtail China's rise. After all, China has benefited and learned a great deal from the US and the rest of the world in the four decades of its rapid modernization drive.

      The US under Biden's leadership and China should work together to usher in a new era of bilateral relations for the betterment of the two countries and the world beyond.

      The author is chief of China Daily EU Bureau based in Brussels.

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