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US Congress to strengthen checks and balances against China

US Congress to strengthen checks and balances against China

Posted December. 08, 2020 07:44,   

Updated December. 08, 2020 07:44


A new program called Pacific Deterrence Initiative has been added with a budget of 2.2 billion dollars to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2021 released by the U.S. Congress. The NDAA also includes the reconsideration of the deployment of the U.S. troops and equipment in countries that use the 5G technology of Chinese companies, such as Huawei and ZTE. The Congress has instructed stronger responses to China with the Joe Biden administration about to take off.

The NDAA, which has been based on bipartisan agreement from the U.S. Congress, is urging the U.S. administration to develop plans to maintain and improve military capabilities against Chinese military rise and practically forcing allies to join the network to keep China in check at the same time. The congress has been raising the level of its efforts to keep China in check across many areas every year. The act is a request to the administration for tight military strategies, regardless of the power transition.

The Biden administration’s policies toward China have not been fully developed, it is likely to adopt an institutional and multilateral approach, rather than Trump’s unexpected and one-sided responses. However, the hawkish stance of prioritizing U.S. interests is not going to change. President-elect Biden put forward foreign policies for the middle class. He also mentioned that the tariffs imposed on China during the Trump administration will not be hurriedly moved and may be used as leverage to control the country.

Many experts predicted a dramatic change in the U.S.-China relations during the Trump administration as the president preferred direct interactions and bilateral agreements with his counterparties. However, under the Biden administration based on rules and values, the U.S.-China tensions may be prolonged. In addition, Biden’s policy to prioritize allies may indicate that the new administration is likely to expect allies to join them. The NDAA that connects the deployment of U.S. troops to the use of Chinese technologies may be the beginning of what’s more to come.

The South Korean government has maintained a stance that the U.S.’ request for the exclusion of Huawei is a decision to be made by private companies. It was rather a relaxed stance compared to the U.K. and Australia, which announced to ban the Chinese company, and Japan, which promised enhanced security. South Korea’s stance was based on the vague expectation that the bilateral tensions between the U.S. and China will not continue. However, such an optimistic view should be revisited now. South Korea will soon become unable to remain as a distant spectator or “let businesses handle” the matter.