JOE BIDEN has his hands tied over the US’ approach to the South China Sea, and is tipped to carry on Donald Trump’s policy in the disputed waters as the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing moves to “larger issues”.
Nick Marro, Global Trade Lead at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), told Express.co.uk the President-elect is “unlikely” to shift from his predecessor’s approach to the South China Sea, as both Democrats and Republicans remain highly critical of China’s recent actions. The outgoing Mr Trump has levelled sanctions against Chinese officials and maintained a military presence in the South China Sea throughout the year as tensions grow between the two superpowers.
Mr Farro said Mr Biden “will have his hands full” in addressing the coronavirus pandemic and US recession, but will “maintain US pressure on China”.
While the President-elect will want to pursue “more of a calculated strategy” building on the Trump administration’s policies, the Global Trade Lead said “earth-shattering” changes are unlikely as the new administration enters office.
He added: “The bipartisan consensus that has emerged in DC against China will tie Biden’s hands, particularly in regards to actions taken by the US in response to human rights abuses and national security.
“At best, we’d likely see the administration slow the pace of introducing new punitive measures against China, rather than rolling things back.”