Biden and China: The biggest issue for all Asia


WILL the new administration of President Joseph Biden escalate or moderate the rivalry between China and the United States for dominance in Asia? More than any other issue, how that geopolitical question is answered will have the greatest impact on the region in the 2020s, and most especially on the Philippines.

(The follow-up article on coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 vaccination is deferred to await new developments, including reports on the safety and efficacy of vaccines amid the initial roll-out in wealthy nations.)

Judging from both historical factors and current realities and positions, the way forward looks set to get more confrontational and volatile, with increasing tension and risk of conflict, along with the economic fallout from China-US frictions.

Judging from his public demeanor and his avowed wish to rebuild Washington’s relations with the world, President Biden is widely expected to be far less testy toward Beijing than his rough-talking predecessor.