President Biden will embark on his first trip to Asia as chief executive this week, an opportunity to focus more on the challenge posed by China since his administration has been consumed for months by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Biden entered office expecting to focus on China as his foremost foreign policy challenge. In speech after speech, Biden has identified China as the chief economic competitor of the U.S. and built policy and partnerships around countering Beijing’s influence in the Asia-Pacific.
While the Quad alliance is widely viewed as having the goal of countering China’s military and economic influence, the group is careful about the way it talks about China. Sullivan said that the Quad summit would deal with issues including climate, cybersecurity and emerging technology.
“I think, generally speaking, the Quad puts forward a positive agenda that tries to avoid mentioning China,” said Joshua Fitt, an associate fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “China is always lurking in the background of the corners of large parts of the Quad’s agenda, but not all of them.”
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