Biden on China’s Economic Challenges: A Potential Respite for Taiwan?

John Deer Jeje Laye
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Biden on China’s Economic Challenges: A Potential Respite for Taiwan?

In the wake of the recent G-20 leaders’ conference in India, President Joe Biden made a significant observation regarding China’s current economic situation. He opined that the economic slump China is experiencing might actually reduce Beijing’s appetite for any aggressive actions towards Taiwan. This statement comes at a time when the world is closely watching the dynamics between China, Taiwan, and the US.


  1. President Joe Biden suggests China’s economic downturn might deter Beijing from any aggressive actions towards Taiwan.
  2. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s absence from the G-20 summit raises eyebrows; Biden hints at Xi’s preoccupation with domestic issues.
  3. The tech battle intensifies: China considers banning iPhones in state-owned businesses, while the US tightens restrictions on Chinese tech giants.
  4. The US Commerce Department investigates a new Huawei phone, questioning the effectiveness of US chip restrictions.

Biden’s visit to Vietnam saw him meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. However, what caught the attention of many was the conspicuous absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping from the G-20 summit. When probed about not having met Xi in almost a year, Biden’s response was telling. He mentioned that Xi “has his hands full right now,” hinting at the myriad of challenges the Chinese leader might be grappling with domestically.

The exact reasons for Xi’s absence from the G-20 remain undisclosed. However, the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco presents another opportunity for the two leaders to meet, marking their first potential encounter since their last meeting.

Biden’s remarks in Hanoi shed light on China’s economic woes. He attributed these challenges to a combination of factors, including global growth inconsistencies and some of China’s own policies. More importantly, he expressed his belief that these economic difficulties might actually lessen China’s capacity for any potential aggressive actions, particularly towards Taiwan.

The Escalating Tech Tug-of-War

Beyond geopolitics, the technological ambitions of the world’s two largest economies have been a significant point of contention. Recent developments indicate an intensification of this tech battle.

China is reportedly considering a move to ban the use of iPhones within its state-owned businesses. This would not only be a blow to Apple Inc. but also an extension of previous restrictions that were limited to government institutions. On the other side of the spectrum, the US has had its reservations about Chinese tech giants. In 2017, the US Congress implemented regulations that restricted the use of equipment from ZTE or Huawei Technologies Co. in certain Pentagon networks.

Biden’s stance on this issue is clear. He emphasized that the US would not facilitate China in any endeavors that might bolster their nuclear capabilities or defense activities. This statement comes at a crucial juncture, especially when Huawei recently unveiled a phone equipped with technology that the US has been keen on keeping away from Beijing. This move by Huawei raises questions about the efficacy of US chip restrictions.

US-China Relations: A Delicate Balance

The unveiling of Huawei’s new phone, equipped with a sophisticated made-in-China microprocessor, has prompted the US Commerce Department to initiate an official investigation. The details of how this chip was developed are still under scrutiny. The implications of this development could be far-reaching, especially when considering the broader US-China relationship.

These recent events, unfolding just as Biden was preparing for the G-20 conference and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was concluding her Beijing visit, could potentially disrupt the US’s attempts to mend ties with China.

In conclusion, the global landscape is witnessing a complex interplay of economic challenges, technological rivalries, and geopolitical strategies. As China grapples with its internal economic issues, the world watches closely, speculating on the potential implications for international politics and the ongoing tech wars.