China Media Says U.S.-Europe Tensions 'Inevitable' As Biden Vows to Develop Joint Strategy With Allies

Chinese state media has predicted more tensions between the U.S. and its European allies, even under projected President-elect Joe Biden's new administration, which the veteran politician has said will put alliances and international cooperation at the core of its foreign policy.

Biden has so far given little indication of how he will approach the China challenge, though on the campaign trail tried to disarm allegations that he would be soft on Beijing by promising a tougher strategy.

In an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, Biden said the "best China strategy" was to make sure all American allies are "on the same page," something he hopes to achieve "in the opening weeks" of his term.

Biden said his trade policies would focus on "China's abusive practices," such as "stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations" and forced technology transfers. Biden said he would not make "immediate" moves to lift the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump, which sparked a wide ranging trade war with Beijing.

Chinese state media has been hopeful that Biden will ease up on Trump's China offensive, despite indications from the Biden team that they will hold China accountable for its trade and human rights abuses.

On Thursday, the state-run Global Times newspaper responded to Biden's latest comments by predicting a continuation of the tensions between the U.S. and Europe that have run throughout Trump's term.

"Europe and the Biden team have the strong will to show their close ties after Biden assumes office," Global Times acknowledged. "But the U.S. and Europe's joint response to the so-called China challenge remains a question mark."

"The U.S. and Europe feel uncomfortable about the West's relative decline," Global Times added. "However, the U.S. feels its hegemony is being challenged by China's rise, while Europe sees more economic competition."

This perceived difference in priority means "it would be hard for the U.S. and Europe to coordinate to oppose the so-called China challenge," the newspaper said. This challenge, it claimed, is "to a large extent, imaginary."

"Europe may be reluctant to promote new Western unity with the U.S. at its center, and on the basis of the Trump administration's radical policy toward China. New frictions will be inevitable.

"But if, on the other hand, Europe gets to define Western unity and the U.S. makes fewer decisions and provides more resources, then Washington will never accept it."

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President-Elect Joe Biden departs after the event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 1, 2020. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images/Getty