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Divergent Perspectives on Current US-China Policy: Balancing Sino-American Relations and the Taiwan Issue

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Jakarta, IO – Recent discussions surrounding “Bidenomics” have gained significant attention, with its key principles illustrated by Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s mid-June address—centered on domestic investment (through tightened foreign investment regulations) and global investment risk management.

These principles also underpin the United States’ current approach to China, influencing Sino-US relations. Notably, a significant step in this direction occurred on August 9, when President Biden signed an executive order restricting certain US investment in sensitive high-tech sectors in China. This move underscores the intense strategic competition between the US and China. 

Analyzing the Biden administration’s decision, it becomes evident that it reflects the core tenets of “Biden economics.” Firstly, this restriction indirectly encourages the repatriation of high-tech investments to the United States. This perspective aligns with the view that corporate investment in China is increasingly seen as collaboration with a potential adversary. Even without direct legal allegations, the mere perception of such collusion can deter bilateral investments over time. Secondly, the decision aligns with the “de-risking” concept, aiming to limit the negative impact on Sino-US relations, while operating within parameters set by the Biden administration. 

This viewpoint is evident in two dimensions. First, preemptive communication from the Biden administration—prior to and following the investment restriction—aimed to prevent miscalculations by China. High-ranking officials, including Sullivan, Blinken, Yellen, and Schumer, emphasized that US actions aim to safeguard national security without impeding China’s economic progress. The intention, they conveyed, is not to impose a complete technology blockade on China but to focus on technologies that could sway military balances. Second, the specifics of the investment ban also reflect the administration’s “de-risking” approach. It confines the ban to semiconductors, quantum technology, and core artificial intelligence systems³excluding non-core aspects like AI, biotechnology, and new energy. Moreover, it allows a year-long grace period and does not apply retroactively. 

Read: Has The “Fox Of American Diplomacy” Transformed Into A Dove Of Peace?

Looking forward, a looming challenge in Sino-US relations revolves around the Taiwan issue and potential misjudgments by the US. Two aspects must be addressed: First, the belief that action in Ukraine could temporarily deter China from using force to reunify Taiwan. Second, the notion that localized conflicts or proxy wars could hinder China’s rise, prompting US arms sales to Taiwan and regional security arrangements. To avert such a crisis, it is imperative to dispel these misjudgments. Clear communication is vital: The Taiwan matter is integral to China’s core interests and the cornerstone of Sino-US relations. It is a red line that must not be crossed. Any US attempt to support “Taiwan independence” or undermine reunification constitutes a direct breach of China’s core interests. 

Ultimately, a solution hinges on reshaping US perceptions: It is essential to emphasize that the Taiwan issue is non-negotiable and any provocations will only lead to an unwindable confrontation. The focus should not be Taiwan itself, but the foreign territory that seeks to violate China’s fundamental interests. Establishing this viewpoint as a consensus within the US can help prevent a head-on clash and pave the way for a peaceful reunification with China.


M. Raihan Ronodipuro is a Master’s Degree student in the School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University, China. Previously, he was awarded the Chinese MOFCOM Scholarship and earned a Master of Law in International Relations from the School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University in China. He serves as an Associate Researcher in the Department of Politics and Security at the Center for Indonesia-China Studies (CICS). He is presently a member of the International Relations Commission at the Directorate of Research and Studies for the Overseas Indonesian Students’ Association Alliance (OISAA) 2022/2023.

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