Political events in China and America have given rise to new power dynamics, with the 20th Communist Party congress solidifying the policies of President Xi Jinping, and a midterm election further muddying the already chaotic political waters in the United States. The austere choreography of Beijing’s twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle contrasted with the bruising political campaigns of the US midterms, which have yet to reveal how much power Republicans will have starting in January and what that will mean for President Joe Biden’s China policy or Indo-Pacific Strategy . While the world more or less knows what to expect from Beijing, those with a stake in the success or failure of Biden’s effort to build a strategic environment “that makes it tough for China” will be watching closely for indications that the new US political landscape will undermine it. With that in mind, now might be a good time to take stock of the alliances and partnerships that Biden has built or bolstered during his first two years in office, a network of overlapping groups and policies so sprawling that they sometimes come into conflict with each other . One of the most recent successes on this front was Canada’s decision to join Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) , an initiative that was initially portrayed by some as a poor substitute for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and came under attack for its lack of a market-access component . After a more tenuous approach to countering Beijing compared with Washington, Ottawa has taken more pointed steps that align with the Biden administration’s efforts to chip away at China’s dominance in the production of key industrial materials needed to manufacture electric vehicles and other products that are essential to meeting the world’s carbon-reduction targets. Just this month, for example, Canada’s government ordered three Chinese companies to divest from a handful of lithium miners based in the country, after introducing tougher rules on foreign investments in the nation’s critical minerals sectors. Days later, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly accused China of adopting an “increasingly disruptive” stance on the world stage as she referenced her government’s eagerly awaited Indo-Pacific strategy. Biden has also drawn closer to the European Union through the US-EU Trade and Technology Council, established last year in a bid to reduce its members’ shared reliance on China’s manufacturing juggernaut, while strengthening their respective domestic supply chains involving strategic technologies. As with Nato and the G7, Russia’s war on Ukraine managed to give that alliance an additional sense of urgency. The group announced during their second formal gathering , just weeks after the Kremlin launched its attack, that “trade in technologies can be pivotal to the ability of autocratic countries to implement authoritarian policies, perpetrate human rights violations and abuses”, which analysts said could be used as a justification for further restrictions on certain technology exports to China. In addition to the interest that China’s neighbours in Asia have expressed in the IPEF, Biden has also had a degree of success in shoring up military ties with the Philippines, whose relations with Washington on defence have not been as robust as they have been with Japan and South Korea . Citing concerns about China’s military modernisation, US deputy defence secretary Kathleen Hicks confirmed the Pentagon’s objectives on this front earlier this year. During a meeting with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin , Philippine defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana said then-president Rodrigo Duterte had decided to renew the 23-year-old Visiting Forces Agreement, which many expected Manila would opt to scrap after Duterte abrogated the accord in 2020. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue , also known as the Quad, with India, Japan and Australia – revived and invigorated by Biden – also appears to strengthen Washington’s hand with respect to the country that it has identified as its “most consequential geopolitical challenge”. The Quad has also taken on more significance owing to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Biden’s frustration over Beijing’s refusal to condemn the war. However, a trip by India’s foreign minister to Moscow just days ago underscored how little control the US leader may have in nurturing new alliances. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar hailed New Delhi’s “strong and steady” relationship with Moscow on Tuesday and declared India’s intention to continue to buy Russian oil, disregarding US appeals to allies and partners to isolate Russia from the global markets. Launched in Biden’s first year in office, Washington’s new military alliance with Britain and Australia , or Aukus, also presents uncertainties over his efforts to counter Beijing’s more assertive military posture. While Aukus will deliver advanced nuclear submarine technology to Canberra, it has also enraged the prime minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, helping to push the island nation closer to China after it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. In a United Nations speech that echoed Beijing’s rhetoric, Sogavare said that his country had been maligned over its closer relationship with China to the point of “intimidation”. As all of this plays out, US Republicans are preparing to take control of the House of Representatives, where California’s Kevin McCarthy will most likely become the chamber’s leader . In an indication of how cooperative McCarthy will be with the president of China, he has already dismissed the Biden administration’s effort to investigate the origins of Covid-19 with a vow to start a new probe. With an already shaky hold on some of the partners that he’s courting, Biden faces a weaker position in terms of congressional support, and it remains to be seen whether that will further undermine his alliance building. 60 second catch-up After House gains, Republicans’ differences on being ‘tough on China’ to emerge: analysts Biden and Xi will meet next week in Indonesia, US confirms Taiwan, Covid-19 seen to rock China-US ties as Republican McCarthy launches House speaker bid US, Taiwan finish round of trade talks, agree to keep discussing 11 topics Video: US midterm elections throw control of Congress in the air as Republican ‘red wave’ prospects dim China seeks upgrade of massive trade zone with Southeast Asian nations amid US hostility India praises ‘strong and steady’ relationship with Russia as foreign ministers meet in Moscow Opinion: Will Xi meet Biden? China should decide after the results of US midterms are known Deep Dives US’ largest lithium mine faces roadblocks despite push to reduce China reliance Nevada site is a priority for US goal of reducing reliance on foreign sources, including China, of the mineral used in electric vehicle batteries and other devices But resistance from Native American tribes and environmental watchdogs, as well as uncertainties of nascent technology, threaten delays In northwestern Nevada, near the state’s border with Oregon and deep beneath a sprawling sagebrush desert, lies one of the largest known deposits of lithium in the US – buried treasure in the 21st century hunt for clean energy. An essential component in manufacturing rechargeable batteries used in laptops, mobile phones and electric vehicles (EVs), the rare earth mineral is critical to the global shift from fossil fuels. Read more Biden says Xi meeting at G20 summit would discuss US-China ‘red lines’ On Taiwan, American leader declines to comment on whether he would confirm to his counterpart defending self-ruled island if Beijing attacked Biden suggests he could also discuss China’s growing nuclear arsenal as well as ‘fair trade’ issues US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he would discuss American “red lines” over Taiwan among other issues during an expected meeting next week with Chinese leader Xi Jinping . “Look, I’m not willing to make any fundamental concessions,” Biden said during a post-election press conference at the White House, when asked if he would tell Xi whether the US would defend the self-ruled island from a Chinese attack. Read more US security strategy calls China ‘most consequential geopolitical challenge’ American cooperation with Nato, G7 and ‘like-minded democracies’ to form core of post-Cold War strategy, says top Biden adviser Guidance declares competition between democracies and autocracies a priority along with transnational challenges US President Joe Biden ’s administration identified major-power competition with China as the “most consequential geopolitical challenge” facing America in a post-Cold War era as it unveiled its long-awaited national security strategy on Wednesday. Invoking much of the rhetoric Biden administration officials have used since taking office last year, the guidance puts America’s national security priorities into two broad categories: competition between democracies and autocracies, and shared – or transnational – challenges, with climate change foremost among them. Read more US, EU meet to forge trade and tech alliance to reduce dependence on China Trade and Technology Council is an effort to counter China’s often disruptive global footprint through multinational partnership, a goal of President Joe Biden The talks are being held over two days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Late on Wednesday in a former steel factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the European Union and United States unveiled an alliance to sharpen their modern arsenals for tackling China on trade and technology. The agreement, however, was reached only after some last-minute haggling and a diplomatic stand-off involving France and the US. Read more Foreign manufacturers hope US modifies stance on EVs and hi-tech components after midterms US President Joe Biden signed legislation to incentivise domestic production and reduce supply chain threats, especially from China But allies including South Korea, Japan and EU as well as affected industries have said the regulations violate international trade laws and are seeking corrections When US President Joe Biden signed his signature green-energy legislation into law in August, it was already drawing fire for the protectionist cover it gave domestic manufacturers of electric vehicles and components like semiconductors and lithium-ion batteries. Now, global EV manufacturers say they hope for at least some form of relief from the law’s restrictive provisions – either administrative exemption or legislative amendments – once the US midterm elections are done next week. Read more US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework touts ‘success’, but few details given Convergence of 14 countries grouped to counter China yields pledges for closer trade and investment ties Target areas include avoiding supply-chain disruptions and spurring investment in clean energy US-led negotiations among 14 countries to kick-start the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework , part of Washington’s bid to counter China’s influence in the region, wrapped up on Friday with agreed-upon parameters for closer trade and investment ties but few concrete details on how these would be delivered. IPEF, the economic leg of an Indo-Pacific strategy announced by President Joe Biden in May, features four main focus areas: trade , supply chain resiliency, clean energy and a “fair economy”. The areas are meant to address criticism that the US is an important Indo-Pacific security partner that cannot match China’s growing economic clout. Read more Global Impact is a fortnightly curated newsletter featuring a news topic originating in China with a significant macro impact for our newsreaders around the world. Sign up now!