President Joe Biden said he is willing to work with the communist government of China as long as it is in America’s interests during a speech on Thursday.
“We’re willing to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest to do so,” he said during a speech at the State Department outlining his approach to diplomacy.
The president promised to confront China’s abuses on economic issues, human rights, intellectual property, and global governance, but his approach was starkly different from that of former President Donald Trump.
“We’ll also take on directly the challenges posed by our prosperity, security, and democratic values by our most serious competitor, China,” Biden said.
He argued his administration would confront China with a focus on “building back better” with domestic spending in the United States after the coronavirus pandemic and working to restore diplomatic ties with the rest of the world.
But Biden did not mention during his speech China’s role in attempting to hide details of the virus and failing to stop the spread of the coronavirus around the world. He also did not specifically criticize China for its actions to suppress democracy in Taiwan.
Instead, the president repeatedly spoke about restoring the diplomatic status of the United States in the world to influence global leadership and compete with China.
“American leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism including growing ambitions of China to rival the United States,” he said.
He promised to begin “renewing our role in international institutions and reclaiming our credibility and moral authority, much of which has been lost.”
Biden said only after America led by example on issues like climate change, other nations would be inspired to voluntarily reduce carbon emissions.
“If our workers and intellectual property are protected then there’s no country on earth, not China or any other country on earth that can match us,” he said.