President Biden delivered a foreign policy address on Thursday at the State Department, focusing on the importance of strengthening America’s alliances after “the past few years of neglect.” He called out Russia for jailing opposition leader Alexey Navalny, condemned the coup in Myanmar, and spoke about the challenges posed by China.
Declaring that “America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy,” Biden also talked about the conflict in Yemen, the pandemic, climate change, the refugee crisis, human rights abuses against the LGBTQ community, and the need to restore and reinvigorate America’s alliances to address those and many more issues that affect American security and national interests.
President Biden chose his words carefully in describing relations with China. He called China “our most serious competitor” and cited “the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States,” expressing readiness to “confront” China while also being “ready to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interests to do so.”
Biden said his administration would “take on directly the challenges posed [to] our prosperity, security and democratic values by our most serious competitor: China”.
“We’ll confront China’s economic abuses, counter its aggressive, coercive actions, and push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance,” he said. “We’ll compete from a position of strength, by building back better at home, working with our allies and partners, renewing our role in international institutions and reclaiming our credibility and moral authority, much of which has been lost.”
Biden has still not spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he called a “thug” during his election campaign, despite holding conversations with a growing list of world leaders. A State Department official said on Tuesday that the administration wanted to first ensure it was in “lockstep” with its allies before engaging with Beijing.
By Winnie Troppie
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