Biden says China must play by ‘international norms’

President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that China must play by “international norms” when speaking about possible retaliatory action against the country for mishandling the coronavirus pandemic when it first broke out.

During Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris‘s first joint interview since wining the election, CNN host Jake Tapper asked the pair if China should be “punished” for mishandling and hiding information on the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan. Biden has said that he will not immediately lift the tariffs on China that President Trump put in place.

“The president’s approach to China has been backwards,” said Biden. “I met with [President] Xi [Jinping] more times than anybody had up until the time we left office that I’m aware of.”

Biden said his goal would be to make it “real clear to China there are international rules that if you want to play by, we’ll play with you. If you don’t, we’re not going to play.”

“It’s not about punishing them for COVID virus; it’s about insisting that there be international norms that are established that they play by,” Biden said.

Biden said that he would insist on stopping the theft of national secrets and “artificial intelligence capacity.” He added that the requirement on tech companies to have 51 percent of their partners be Chinese in order to conduct business in the country was “not going to happen in our administration.”

Harris appeared to be more reluctant to make any definite statements.