“This hypothesis that greater economic engagement with China would turn it into a responsible stakeholder on the world stage proved false — that era of US policymaking is over,” said Lindsay Gorman, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund of the US.
This is at the heart of the Biden approach to China. It is the criticism that China will not play the part of the “responsible policyholder”. What this means is that China is not interested in deals with the US that compromises the key aspects of China’s policy. China is not for turning and Washington’s assumption was that China would “mature” into a great power partner has always been misplaced.
China would not be “bought off” by WTO membership. China would not agree to become “compliant” and drop its commitment to building “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
An understanding of where China is coming from would enable people to understand China’s thinking, approach and strategies. But the think tanks + the academics + the State Department got China wrong and continue to do so.