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Biden’s strategy traces the Cold War’s mental map



US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, United States, 21 August 2022 (Photo: Reuters/Ken Cedeno)

Author: James Curran, University of Sydney

Within days of each other, revealing portraits of the United States and China have been unveiled. In Washington, the Biden administration released its national security strategy. It says much about American psychology at a critical juncture. And Beijing witnessed the opening of the 20th Party Congress on 16 October that will see Xi Jinping confirmed as president for a record third term.

It comes as the White House launches arguably its biggest move to compete with, and restrain, China in its technology war, curbing the ability of world and US chip makers to sell semiconductors and chip-making equipment to Chinese customers. As Bloomberg notes, it strikes at the foundation of China’s efforts to build its own chip industry.

This represents a dramatic escalation in technology decoupling and has been met with a forceful Chinese response. Furious officials in Beijing already threaten economic retaliation.

With Trump’s trade tariffs still in place, Beijing has no doubt that the US is out to cripple its capacity to compete on equal terms. On top of its property crash, strains arising from Xi’s zero-COVID-19 policy and slowing economic growth, it is not the atmosphere Xi desired to shadow the Congress.

Biden’s national security strategy is, like those of his predecessors, sonorous in style and pronouncement. It puts America on a footing for what the president calls a moment of ‘inflection’ for the world, a ‘decisive decade’ for the United States.

Crucially, it projects humility about past failures. Washington stresses it has learnt from mistakes, delivering a relieved farewell to the post-Cold War era. Even more remarkably, it appears to have relinquished the goal of democracy promotion. ‘We will not use our military to change regimes’, it says, ‘or remake societies’. This is the sharpest break of all. Largely missing is Biden’s pre-election stress on a ‘foreign policy for the middle class’. The shackles, it seems, are once more off.

This remains an America that will not easily — if ever — embrace the prospect of being a ‘normal’ nation, or even just a conventional great power. To do so would be to deny the very essence of what makes them Americans.

The enterprise sketched by US policymakers in this strategy remains vast and all-embracing. It touches all corners of the globe, embraces a panoply of policies. The community of nations, it assumes, in a statement that could have been uttered by Woodrow Wilson in Paris in 1919, ‘shares our vision for the future of international order’.

The mental map of the old Cold War with all its obvious contradictions still has a powerful hold. Though divine providence is not openly summoned, its pulse quickens the American system, fuels its self-belief. ‘Primacy’, appearing only once in the document, is no longer the beating heart of US grand strategy. But its replacement, namely ‘out-competing’ Russia and China, carries the same meaning, even as it commits to avoiding the ‘temptation to see the world solely through the prism of strategic competition’.

Indeed, in looking to eschew the notion of a new Cold War and resist a world of ‘rigid blocs’, the document remains a manifesto for the very binary Biden declared at the outset of his presidency — that between democracies and autocracies.

In doing so, the strategy is in some ways reminiscent of former US diplomat George Kennan’s Long Telegram from Moscow in 1946 — which essentially established the intellectual basis for containment of the Soviet Union. Biden’s document similarly depicts Russia and China as beset by problems associated with ‘the pathologies inherent in highly personalised autocracies’ that are ‘exporting an illiberal model of international order’.

This is a key judgment of the strategy — Russia has proven form in its invasion of Ukraine and ‘imperialist foreign policy’, and the China threat is depicted as spreading.

But older rhetorical threads are also woven through the document’s fabric, from presidents Truman through to Kennedy and Nixon. There are echoes of Truman’s speech to Congress in March 1947 in its pledge to ‘defend democracy around the world’. There are strains of Kennedy’s inaugural address in January 1961 in the strategy’s commitment to ‘support every country in exercising the freedom to make choices’. And more than a dose of Richard Nixon’s call from Guam in July 1969 — at another moment of relative American vulnerability — for even greater allied burden…

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China Unveils Plan to Upgrade Industrial Equipment



China unveiled a comprehensive action plan for upgrading industrial equipment, with a focus on driving technological innovation and economic growth. The plan, released on April 9, 2024, aims to enhance competitiveness and sustainability within the manufacturing sector through extensive investment and regulatory support.

China announced an ambitious action plan for industrial equipment upgrading, which aims to drive technological innovation and economic growth through extensive investment and regulatory support.

On April 9, 2024, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and six other departments jointly released a notice introducing the Implementation Plan for Promoting Equipment Renewal in the Industrial Sector (hereafter referred to as the “action plan”).

Finalized earlier on March 23, 2024, this comprehensive action plan addresses critical issues related to technological innovation and economic development. It reflects China’s proactive stance in enhancing competitiveness and sustainability within its manufacturing sector. The initiative underscores the recognition of industrial equipment upgrading as a top policy priority.

The scope of China’s action plan to upgrade industrial equipment in manufacturing, is extensive, covering various aspects such as:

In line with China’s ambitious goals for industrial modernization and sustainable development, the action plan outlines several key objectives aimed at driving substantial advancements in the industrial sector by 2027.

These objectives encompass a wide range of areas, from increasing investment to enhancing digitalization and promoting innovation, including:

The objectives and key actions proposed in the action plan are summarized below.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at

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China deepens engagement with new Indonesian president as top diplomat visits Jakarta



China’s top diplomat met the outgoing Indonesian president and his successor in Jakarta on Thursday, as Beijing deepened its engagement with future leader Prabowo Subianto, amid a competition for regional influence with the United States.

The meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was part of a joint commitment to advance the partnership between the two countries, said Prabowo, who visited Beijing in early April after his landslide win in the February general election.

“It is a great honor for me to welcome him [Wang] today. Thank you for the kind reception I received in Beijing a few weeks ago,” Prabowo said, according to an Indonesian defense ministry statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had invited Prabowo to visit, and the latter accepting the invitation raised eyebrows in Indonesia because no president-elect had made a foreign visit such as this one without being sworn in. China is Indonesia’s largest trading partner.

Wang, too, mentioned Prabowo’s Beijing trip, according to the same statement.

“We really appreciate and welcome Defense Minister Prabowo’s visit to China,” he said.

“We are committed to continuing to increase bilateral cooperation with Indonesia, both in the defense sector and other fields such as economic, social and cultural.”

Wang is scheduled to go to East Nusa Tenggara province on Friday to attend the China-Indonesia High-Level Dialogue Cooperation Mechanism, a process to support more effective bilateral cooperation. His Jakarta stop was the first of a six-day tour that also includes Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attend a press conference after their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, April 18, 2024. (Eko Siswono Toyudho/ BenarNews)

Prabowo and Wang discussed cooperation in the defense industry and sector, with potential measures such as educational and training collaboration, as well as joint exercises, said Brig. Gen. Edwin Adrian Sumantha, spokesman at the Indonesian defense ministry.

In fact, the ministry statement said that “China is Indonesia’s close partner and has had close bilateral relations, especially in the defense sector, for a long time.”

Of course, China has also invested billions of U.S. dollars in infrastructure projects in Indonesia, including as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative – the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, which began commercial operations in October 2023, is one such BRI project.

The two countries have drawn closer during outgoing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s two terms, and Beijing would like that to continue as the U.S. tries to catch up with China’s gargantuan influence in Southeast Asia, analysts have said.

Indonesia, China call for ceasefire in Gaza

Both Indonesia and China shared the same position on Israel’s devastating attacks on Gaza, said Wang’s Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi.

Israel’s air and ground strikes have killed more than 33,000 Palestinians following the Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state by Palestinian militant group Hamas, which killed around 1,100 Israelis.

“We … have the same view regarding the importance of a ceasefire in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian problem fairly through two state solutions,” Retno told reporters in a joint press conference after meeting with Wang. 

“Indonesia will support full Palestinian membership in the U.N. Middle East stability will not be realized without resolving the Palestinian issue.”

For his part, Wang slammed Washington for repeatedly vetoing resolutions calling for Israel to end the attacks on the Palestinian territory it occupies.

“The conflict in Gaza has lasted for half a year and caused a rare humanitarian tragedy in the 21st century,” Wang told the media at the same press conference, according to the Associated Press.

“The United Nations Security Council responded to the call of the international community and continued to review the resolution draft on the cease-fire in Gaza, but it was repeatedly vetoed by the United States.”

The conflict in the Middle East offered a strategic opportunity for China to further expand its influence in Southeast Asia, said Muhamad Arif, a lecturer in international relations at the University of Indonesia.

“China is trying to strengthen its position as a key player in the region,” Arief told BenarNews.

China could present an alternative approach to the conflict in Gaza, he said, which may find approval in Southeast Asia’s largest country, Indonesia, and other Mulism-majority states in the region, such as Malaysia and Brunei.

BenarNews is an RFA-affiliated online news organization.

Read the rest of this article here >>> China deepens engagement with new Indonesian president as top diplomat visits Jakarta

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New Publication: A Guide for Foreign Investors on Navigating China’s New Company Law



The sixth revision of China’s Company Law is the most extensive amendment in history, impacting foreign invested enterprises with stricter rules on capital injection and corporate governance. Most FIEs must align with the New Company Law by July 1, 2024, with a deadline of December 31, 2024 for adjustments. Contact Dezan Shira & Associates for assistance.

The sixth revision of China’s Company Law represents the most extensive amendment in its history. From stricter capital injection rules to enhanced corporate governance, the changes introduced in the New Company Law have far-reaching implications for businesses, including foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) operating in or entering the China market.

Since January 1, 2020, the Company Law has governed both wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) and joint ventures (JVs), following the enactment of the Foreign Investment Law (FIL). Most FIEs must align with the provisions of the New Company Law from July 1, 2024, while those established before January 1, 2020 have bit more time for adjustments due to the five-year grace period provided by the FIL. The final deadline for their alignment is December 31, 2024.

In this publication, we guide foreign investors through the implications of the New Company Law for existing and new FIEs and relevant stakeholders. We begin with an overview of the revision’s background and objectives, followed by a summary of key changes. Our in-depth analysis, from a foreign stakeholder perspective, illuminates the practical implications. Lastly, we explore tax impacts alongside the revisions, demonstrating how the New Company Law may shape future business transactions and arrangements.

If you or your company require assistance with Company Law adjustments in China, please do not hesitate to contact Dezan Shira & Associates. For more information, feel free to reach us via email at


This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at

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