Considerable significance is attached to the anniversary marking the first hundred days of any US administration. At this juncture, the Biden administration has undertaken a host of initiatives in the domain of US foreign policy despite facing numerous challenges on the domestic front exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.
With China and Iran, President Biden and his foreign policy advisors seem to be largely following through on the policy positions articulated during the Presidential campaign. In addition, climate change will be a critical part of the Biden administration’s diplomatic initiatives. President Biden has also announced that September 11 would be the withdrawal date for US troops from Afghanistan.
The Biden campaign had indicated last year that it would lower the rhetorical temperature with China. At the same time, Biden faces strong domestic compulsions precluding a re-engagement with China. Currently, China is overwhelmingly unpopular among the American mass public. According to the latest polls by Gallup, only 20 percent of Americans hold a favourable view of China.
The Biden administration has largely concurred with the Trump administration’s diagnosis that the US-China relationship is fundamentally competitive. The Biden administration’s Interim National Security Strategic Guidance builds upon several of the themes on China outlined in the National Security Strategy published by the Trump administration in December 2017.
Key members of the Biden team also believe that the punitive measures taken by the Trump administration against China have been largely ineffective. This is particularly the case with trade as the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration resulted in a net loss of American jobs