Joe Biden at risk of China escalating tension if US takes on ‘colonial oppressor’ stance

China: Academic warns West to ‘not get on high ground’

Academic Frank Furedi has warned Joe Biden not to take the moral “high-ground” when dealing with China, saying “nothing will anger the Chinese more.” He added that being seen to be lecturing Beijing on issues such as Hong Kong and treatment of the Uyghurs will be taken as “old-school colonialism.” Instead, Mr Furedi advised Mr Biden to seek other ways to put pressure on China as the new US Administration looks to build a strategy to counter what it sees as the rising threat in Asia.

Mr Furedi explained on Sky News: “I am troubled by the tensions that are being created, sometimes artificially, but sometimes based on real events between different Western nations and China.

“I think there is a danger that these things can escalate and harden.

“That will have kinds of negative blowbacks,” he added.

“We need to decide which battles are worth fighting, the Hong Kong issue is particularly important in terms of the impact it has on democracy and also the oppression of minorities.

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“But we also need to be relatively careful and understanding that nothing will anger the Chinese more than if we get on our high-ground and assume the role of old school colonial lecturers telling the rest of the world how to behave.

“I think there is going to have to be other ways in which effect pressure is placed upon the Chinese government.”

It comes as Mr Biden triggered the ire of authorities in Beijing with his new Cabinet picks because of several of those brought had made “aggressive” comments on China in the past.

Figures such as the Director of National Security nominee Avril Haines and Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen raised eyebrows in Beijing with their vocal critics of Xi Jinping’s regime in recent weeks

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Joe Biden: Expert discusses plan to ‘put pressure’ on China

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the US increased the number of “freedom of navigation operations”—known as FONOPs—in the area to challenge China’s sovereignty claims.

President Joe Biden is expected to continue following this policy of contesting China’s power in the region.

Mr Biden’s nomination for national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, last year told the China Talk podcast: “We should be devoting more assets and resources to ensuring and reinforcing, and holding up alongside our partners, the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.”

He added: “That puts the shoe on the other foot. China then has to stop us, which they will not do.”

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It comes as Beijing continues to beef up its military capabilities in and around the South China Sea, as it seeks to assert its complete control over the disputed waters.

The waterway is a major shipping route for global commerce and is rich in fish and potential energy resources.

Experts believe that the seabed may contain up to 11 billion barrels worth of oil along with 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Resource hungry China has aggressively sought to assert its claim over these hydrocarbon deposits.

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