President Biden has cautioned that China’s economic challenges, including high unemployment and an aging workforce, pose a significant risk to the global economy and other nations. He referred to China as a “ticking time bomb” during a fundraising event in Park City, Utah.
The President’s remarks reflect his willingness to criticize China, despite his administration’s efforts to ease tensions between the two countries. Earlier this summer, Biden referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator” during another fundraising event in California, blaming him for not being informed about a spy balloon incident that occurred in the United States.
Biden clarified that he aims for a “rational relationship with China” while acknowledging that Beijing is America’s biggest economic competitor. He emphasized the need to monitor the situation closely without intending to harm China.
These comments highlight the delicate balance the President and his administration are striving to achieve: easing tensions with China while safeguarding against economic and military threats posed by the country and its Communist leadership. Recent incidents such as the spy balloon and the discovery of malicious computer codes in U.S. military base networks have strained relations between the two countries.
Biden has expressed a desire for competition rather than conflict with China, aiming to mitigate the risks of military confrontations over the South China Sea and Taiwan’s future. High-level officials from both countries have engaged in discussions, with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expected to visit China in the coming weeks.
However, the President has taken decisive actions to contain China’s ascent and limit its military advantage through access to American-developed technologies. This week, he signed an executive order banning U.S. investments in certain Chinese technology industries that could bolster Beijing’s military capabilities. China has threatened retaliation and accused the U.S. of politicizing and weaponizing trade.
Biden’s recent comments may complicate efforts to arrange an in-person meeting between him and President Xi in the coming months. The two leaders have not met since November 2020 at the Group of 20 summit. The possibility of an in-person meeting at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, which Xi is expected to attend, remains uncertain.