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Stephen Roach questions Biden’s decision to maintain Trump’s Chinese policy

Stephen Roach of Yale University.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Leading economist Stephen Roach said he found “really curious” that the US president Joe biden left much of his predecessor’s China policies in place.

Roach, a senior researcher at Yale University, said Biden was keeping the “gravely flawed” Phase 1 trade agreement between the United States and China and tariffs on China – but reversed many other policies adopted by the former president Donald trump.

“Why did he choose the China-Trump policy as a policy worth upholding, when he literally tried to erase the list of all the other potential Trump policies he inherited? is an important question to be answered, “Roach told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia” Thursday.

During Trump’s tenure, the United States and China were engaged in a trade war that threatened to derail the global economy after both sides imposed retaliatory tariffs on each other’s products. The phase one trade deal ended the trade struggle, but did not reverse these high tariffs.

Intensification of US-Chinese tensions

US-China relations got off to a rocky start under the Biden administration.

Last month the two countries first high-level meeting began with an exchange of insults, and the United States – along with some of its Western allies – imposed sanctions on Chinese officials and entities for human rights violations in the Xinjiang region.

Beijing retaliated against the United States and its allies with their own sanctions.

Roach, who is a former president of Morgan Stanley Asia, said he was “very concerned” about escalating US-Chinese rhetoric.

“The situation is going from bad to worse and it is not necessary,” he said. “We need, I think, a more balanced approach on the American side as well as the Chinese side to get back to the areas we have in common.”

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