Ming Pao in Hong Kong on March 31 and April 2 published articles on the Biden Administration’s China strategy and the Quad. Two sections quote me. The gist: The Administration is working with others who share concerns about China’s increasingly pushy posture in economic relations, in the South China Sea, in Hong Kong or in international organizations. Rather than letting China isolate each country, we can take a common stance on the “rules of the road.”
The reporter also asked about whether India’s purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia will disrupt our cooperation. While Congress passed a law in 2017 authorizing sanctions for such purchases, the Adminsitration will likely just disregard the purchases and pursue strategic interests with India. Nonetheless, the purchase is a reminder that India’s interests are generally aligned with those of the US but India will always go its own way.
What I sent them in English:
— The Quad and other meetings with Europe and friends in Southeast Asia, represent a chance to work with others who share concerns about China’s increasingly pushy posture in economic relations, in the South China Sea, in Hong Kong or in international organizations. Rather than letting China isolate each country, we can take a common stance on the “rules of the road” be they trading rules, human rights or behavior in diplomatic relationships. China will feel increased pressure because its practices under the current administration are out of step with what the rest of the world sees as fair, and that “rest of the world” talks to each other about China.
— India has long purchased Russian weapons so it shouldn’t be surprising that they want to buy these missiles –a sale first announced in 2018. Unfortunately, Congress had passed a law in 2017 called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (Caatsa), that requires the President to invoke sanctions against countries that buy Russian weapons. At the time, under President Trump, the White House and State Department cited the law as potentially unconstitutional in restricting the President’s authority in foreign affairs. Thus, it remains to be seen whether the new Administration will invoke sanctions, use the threat to pressure India, or ignore the sale and see if Congress responds.
And the Chinese pages from Ming Pao on 31 March and 2 April 2021: