Biden unveils his economic plan for countering China in Asia - CNN
May 23, 2022 1 min, 57 secs
While acknowledging the US still agrees with the "One China" policy, Biden said that the idea of Taiwan being taken by force "is (just not) appropriate." A White House official said later the US position on the "One China" policy had not changed.

When he meets Tuesday with leaders of a revitalized "Quad" grouping -- the US, Japan, India and Australia -- it will be with the tacit intention of countering Beijing's attempts to expand its influence among its neighbors.

The economic framework comes with a similar goal.

It includes one "pillar" related to trade, but also incorporates other areas like making supply chains more resilient, promoting clean energy and combating corruption.

The nations participating in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, alongside the US.

The roster represents a relatively wide swath of Asia, from highly advanced economies like Japan and South Korea to countries that haven't always aligned with the US on the economic front.

That TPP as it was envisioned, ultimately, was something that was quite fragile, and that the United States was not able to deliver on and that informs very much our thinking about bringing the Indo-Pacific economic framework, as it's designed here."

It's unclear whether IPEF will require Congressional approval; Tai said only "Let's see where these negotiations take us" when asked if lawmakers would need to vote on the framework.

The Biden administration has worked hard to convince other countries to join -- not only staunch partners like Japan and South Korea but smaller nations, particularly in Southeast Asia, who aren't as closely aligned with the US.

The plan's early detractors have suggested it lacks any incentives -- like lowering tariffs -- in return for joining up.

And if anything, Biden's announcement Monday reflects just the beginning of the process for writing the plan.

Already, China has responded harshly to the framework, with a senior envoy calling it a "closed and exclusive clique."

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden was traveling from South Korea to Japan, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the criticism was expected.

"It's not a surprise to me that China has concerns about the number of countries, the diversity of countries who have expressed interest in and enthusiasm for IPEF," he said.


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