◎ Biden has edged back to the accommodation policies of the Clinton and Obama administrations.
Last week, on the 72d anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a brief congratulatory message to “the people of the People’s Republic of China.” Some conservatives found the message inappropriate because of the regime’s many violations of international norms and because the Chinese people are essentially its captive victims. But Blinken’s message was similar to one sent by Secretary Mike Pompeo a year ago, except that Pompeo referred to “the people of China” and Blinken also called for cooperation “to solve the challenges we all face.”
Both statements were perfunctory, but on the PRC’s 70th anniversary the year before, President Trump tweeted to China with more personal warmth: “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!” Although Trump at the time was trying to strike a favorable trade deal with Beijing, his message triggered a spate of criticism from across the ideological spectrum of the Republican Party.
Joseph Bosco served as China country director for the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Asia-Pacific director of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from 2009 to 2010. He is a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and the Institute for Taiwan-American Studies, and has held nonresident appointments in the Asia-Pacific program at the Atlantic Council and the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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