By Maurits Elen
Vice President Joe Biden has been appointed by the White House to orchestrate the China policy in the upcoming years, a change considered quite practical since Biden’s Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Xi Jinping, is most likely to ascend as China’s new president next year.
Until then, both will have to face some challenges in 2012 on a tricky same-status level until Xi becomes the new Communist Party chief. Topics such as trade disputes, intellectual property and human rights, and US arms sales to Taiwan will obviously compose the most sensitive issues between the two economic superpowers.
Biden most recently met with Xi last August in his third trip to China, the primary purpose of which was to get to know China’s future leadership, and to build a relationship with Vice President Xi. According to Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisor to Biden: “Simply put, we’re investing in the future of the U.S.-China relationship.”
Good ‘ol Joe has already made a lasting impression on China. During his trip last year, his “folksy” personality and eccentric behavior, a constant headache to his party and the administration in America, was instead received with great enthusiasm by the Chinese people. Global Times even coined a term after his visit, calling that down-home charm “Noodle Diplomacy” after Biden visited a local restaurant with his family.
Shortly after his touchdown in Beijing he visited a basketball match to kick off his trip. Overly-excited observers drew comparisons between Richard Nixon’s ping-pong diplomacy and his basketball diplomacy. Can’t wait to hear what terms they coin after him next!