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Joe Biden in a Multipolar World

Upon taking office, US President Joe Biden had an opportunity to engineer a reset in international relations, engaging constructively with China and Russia to figure out how to manage the new multipolar world. His administration has done the opposite, apparently believing that America is still the global hegemon.

HONG KONG – Next year will mark 50 years since US President Richard Nixon traveled to China to meet with Communist Party of China Chairman Mao Zedong and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai – a major step toward restoring relations after decades of estrangement and hostility. A half-century later, the progress they launched has been all but lost, and US President Joe Biden is partly to blame.

The ideological differences between the United States and China in 1972 could not have been starker. But both sides recognized the vast benefits of a détente. By isolating the Soviet Union, they hastened the end of the Cold War. And by enabling China to shift its focus to peaceful economic development, they bolstered global prosperity for decades to follow.

Thanks to a large labor force and abundant land, China became a manufacturing powerhouse, enabling international firms to slash their production costs and deliver more affordable goods to consumers. Over time, Chinese incomes grew, and low-cost production began to move elsewhere. But China’s economic progress – in particular, growing demand from its massive domestic market – has continued to benefit the rest of the world.

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