This week, the US and China publicly clashed during their first face-to-face high-level talks since US President Joe Biden took office. One senior Chinese official urged the US to address “deep-seated” issues such as racism, and accused his American counterparts of “condescension”. Mr Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, appeared annoyed as he said: “The Chinese delegation seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance.” He added: “I’m hearing deep satisfaction that the United States is back, that we’re re-engaged.
“I’m also hearing deep concern about some of the actions your government is taking.”
This all comes as the UK is looking for a trade deal with the US post-Brexit.
However, Mr Biden’s November election win sparked concern among some in the UK because of his previous criticism of Brexit.
In 2018, for example, Mr Biden said Brexit would “diminish” US interests in Britain and said he would have voted Remain.
Many suggested that President Biden will instead look to build closer ties with the EU, but Dominic Lawson believes the bloc’s approach to China could clash with Washington.
He wrote for The Sunday Times in January that Germany’s strong trading ties with China and Russia combined with the EU’s investment agreement with Beijing could hurt the Brussels-Washington dynamic.
He said: “As Berlin’s relationship with Beijing shows, the principal force behind this “business first” policy is … the interests of German business.
“It was Merkel who drove the EU, in the dying days of the Trump administration, to sign up to an ‘investment agreement’ with China — despite calls from Biden’s people to hold off (not just because of what was happening in Xinjiang but also in Hong Kong).
“Germany’s big manufacturing companies see profits from China as vital to their prospects.”
The EU and China concluded negotiations for a trade deal in principle on New Year’s Eve.
Economist and political analyst, Phar Kim Beng, claimed in January that the agreement “exposes European weakness”.
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He said: “Boris Johnson’s Brexity Government in London is not going to be Biden’s bête noire in the western alliance.
“It is Berlin and Brussels whose decisions are likely to infuriate Joe Biden. And he does have one thing in common with Donald Trump: a short fuse.”
Professor Charles A. Kupchan told Express.co.uk in January that Mr Biden will want the UK to “stand shoulder to shoulder with the US” in a bid to derail China’s growing influence.
He said: “I’m not expecting to see the Biden administration put a lot of energy behind trade liberalisation in year one.
“Maybe with the exception of China, and so I think the UK can expect the US to appeal to London, to stand shoulder to shoulder with it in pushing China on the trade front.
“This could include China opening its markets, the repatriation of sensitive supply lines or getting Huawei out of Western markets.”