WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Friday drew a stark contrast to the foreign policy of his much-vaunted predecessor Donald Trump and urged democracies to work together to tackle abuses by autocratic states such as China and Russia.
In his first major appearance as president on the world stage, an online virtual tour of Europe, Biden sought to reestablish the United States as a multilateral team player after four years of divisive politics in America. first under Trump.
Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Biden drew a stark contrast to Trump’s more transactional foreign policy, which angered his allies by breaking global agreements and threatening to end defense aid unless they follow his line.
I know the past few years have strained our transatlantic relationship, but the United States is determined – determined – to re-engage with Europe, to consult with you, to regain our position of trusted leadership, has t -he declares.
Several years ago, as a private citizen at the Munich Security Conference, Biden reassured attendees shaken by the Trump presidency, telling them: we will be back. On Friday, he told the virtual audience online: America is back.
The collaboration message echoed its message during a private video conference earlier Friday with leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. said a senior administration official.
Biden plans to join G7 members for an in-person summit hosted by Britain this summer.
America’s partnerships have lasted and grown over the years because they were rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values, Biden said. They are not transactional. They are not extractive. They are built on a vision of the future where every voice counts.
He said US allies must stand firm in the face of challenges posed by China, Iran and Russia, saying Russia is seeking to weaken the transatlantic alliance and calling for unity to counter what he called China’s abusive economic practices.
The Kremlin is attacking our democracies and using corruption as a weapon to try to undermine our system of governance, he said. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin seeks to weaken the European project and our alliance with NATO. He wants to undermine our transatlantic unity and our resolve, Biden said.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied such action.
Biden underlined what he called the Americas steadfast commitment to the 30-member NATO alliance, marking another shift from Trump, who called NATO outdated and even suggested at one point that Washington could withdraw from the alliance.
Biden also arrived with freebies – a pledge of $ 4 billion in support for global coronavirus vaccination efforts, the US re-entry into the Paris climate agreement, and the prospect of a spending nearly $ 2 trillion that could support both the US and global economies.
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks as he takes part in a virtual Munich Security Conference event from the East Room of the White House in Washington, United States on February 19, 2021. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
Biden said the world is at an inflection point, but he is convinced that democracies, not autocracies, offer the best way forward for the world.
CALL FOR A COORDINATED APPROACH FROM CHINA
Biden said major market economies and democracies need to work together to address the challenges posed by competitors from great powers like Russia and China, and challenges ranging from nuclear proliferation to climate change and cybersecurity.
He took a particular interest in China, the world’s second-largest economy, and its failure to meet international standards, saying democracies must shape the rules to govern the advancement of new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
We must fight against the Chinese government’s economic abuse and coercion that undermines the foundations of the international economic system, he said.
Chinese companies, he said, should be subject to the same standards that apply to US and European companies.
We need to defend the democratic values that allow us to accomplish all of this, pushing back those who would monopolize and normalize repression, he said.
Biden’s White House is examining Chinese policy on all fronts, including its military build-up and trade policies, its actions in Hong Kong, the treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, and its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Regarding the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program, Biden said the United States looked forward to re-engaging in diplomacy as part of efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal that Trump abandoned.
The G7 countries, which control just under half of the global economy, sought at their meeting to look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to rebuild their economies with free trade and counter Chinese policies not market oriented.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Edited by Peter Cooney, Heather Timmons and Howard Goller
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