March 11, 2021
President Joe Biden will hold a virtual meeting Friday with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan.
The group of four leaders, also known as the Quad Alliance is expected to discuss coordinating efforts to address their mutual issues and challenges such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy, and climate change as well as China’s growing influence in the world.
China’s burgeoning power in the world has become problematic for many developed and emerging economies, especially the U.S. as China develops its military capability and exerts its economic and technological influences on many part of the world—specifically in developing nations in Africa and Latin America to supersede American leadership in the world.
The meeting, which comes as the Biden-Harris administration takes proactive and strategic measures to try to confront China on its substandard behaviors on international matters, including on human rights abuses, technology infringement, trade and cybersecurity, without aggravating the tensions between the two countries, is part of the efforts of switching rails from the previous administration’s— under President Trump’s leadership, ‘go it alone’ mindset that left American allies out.
The U.S. and China are competing superpowers. While the Trump administration was the first to confront China, the Biden-Harris administration plans to improve on some of the strategies that worked and change course on the ones that did not work.
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo told lawmakers during her confirmation hearing last month that she plans to hold China accountable.
Ahead of the Friday virtual meeting, Vice President Kamala Harris, who will also join President Biden on the virtual meeting, called and spoke with the World Trade Organization Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Thursday to offer congratulatory wishes and support for the new WTO’s chief as well as express the administration’s commitment to the WTO.
The Vice President also underscored the importance of global trade to world population’s upward socioeconomic mobility and discussed the need for reforms within the WTO to increase its efficacy for future trade advancement.
Vice President Harris’s call to the chief of WTO is also part of the administration’s effort to up the antennal on China, and the White House is not the only one taking actions.
During a testimony Wednesday before members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Secretary Antony J. Blinken told lawmakers that addressing Chinese cyber attacks on U.S. systems, especially those with nexus to the financial services industry is top priority for the State department and the administration.
“This is an imperative across the government and we are working on it,” said Secretary Blinken in response to a question posed by Representative Ann Wagner-(R) Missouri. “We have got to strengthen our capabilities. We have to strengthen our readiness. We have to strengthen our resilience, and there was a lot of work that’s going into that that the State Department itself needs to be playing the lead role in organizing and galvanizing other countries in terms of their own readiness and their own resilience. But also, trying to establish much stronger and enforced norms when it comes to behavior in the in the cyber realm. This is something we are getting. We are getting spit up and resources to do.”
Later this month, cabinet member and senior member of the Biden administration, Secretary Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan are scheduled to meet with official representatives of the Chinese government, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska.
During the meeting, which will take place following Secretary Blinken’s meetings with two of American closest regional allies in Tokyo and Seoul, the American and Chinese delegates are expected to mull a range of issues, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.