From China’s perspective, the blows from the United States just keep coming. Sanctions and export controls over the crackdown in Xinjiang. A warning to international businesses about the deteriorating climate in Hong Kong. The rejection of visas for students and researchers suspected of having links to the People’s Liberation Army.
The torrent of attacks has infuriated Beijing, but six months into the tenure of President Biden, the Communist Party leadership has yet to find an effective strategy to counter the American moves.
In Beijing’s view, Mr. Biden has taken a more strategic approach than his predecessor, enlisting allies to join his campaign against Chinese behavior in ways that appear to have frustrated officials. China has resorted to its usual instinct for tit-for-tat measures, while lashing out with a heavy dose of vitriol and sarcasm.
Although both sides have said that they want to avoid a new Cold War, they are plunging into an increasingly ideological conflict that shows little sign of easing. The result has been a deterioration of relations that, to the surprise of many in Beijing, has surpassed even the tumultuous years of dealing with President Donald J. Trump.