Power Play

Why Biden will be tougher on China than Obama

Congressional dynamics and popular sentiments in the US support a more confrontational stance. China, too, has changed.


American presidents traditionally have the most leeway in the realm of foreign policy. President-elect Joe Biden's hand when it comes to China policy, however, will be constrained by both internal and external forces.

Expect the Biden administration to take on a more confrontational approach with China than seen during the Barack Obama years when Mr Biden was vice-president, a time during which holding Beijing accountable sometimes took a backseat to seeking cooperation with it on transnational issues.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2020, with the headline 'Why Biden will be tougher on China than Obama'. Subscribe