Yellow Card to China*

Joe Biden’s strategy of standing up to China has nothing to do with that of his predecessor, Donald Trump, but neither does it have anything to do with that of the administration of Barack Obama, of which he was a part. Biden’s team is sure that the Asian country is a real threat and is, as The Economist reported this week, quoting sources from his Cabinet: “less interested in coexistence and more interested in dominance.” For this reason, the United States will halt diplomatic responses and will use any suspicion of aggression by the Chinese giant to criticize it. This is what happened yesterday because of the cyberattack on a Microsoft server.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not mince words in saying that the Chinese government has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who helped it perform destabilizing actions on other countries. In fact, Beijing was denounced yesterday by the U.S., NATO, the European Union and leaders of Great Britain, Germany and Australia. It was a coordinated action led by Biden, who knows that world supremacy is at stake against the mighty Asian power. It’s true that China’s advancements in artificial intelligence and big data put it in an unbeatable position to control global cyberspace, if it so chooses. But, as usually happens in these cases, these harsh accusations must be proven and, as Biden himself acknowledged yesterday, the U.S. still does not have all the evidence. For this reason, nobody spoke about sanctions yesterday. In other words, the West just showed China a yellow card as a warning about what could happen in the future. From now on, the Biden administration can begin to prepare sanctions, bans and boycotts on Chinese products, hoping that the EU and other partners will support them.

In truth, what is going on is the great economic battle of the century. And Biden is absolutely determined to stop China from displacing his country from the leadership of the world. This is what is at stake.

*Editor’s Note: This article is available with a paid subscription.

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