President Joe Biden said on Friday that the United States and its international partners must hold China accountable for its economic practices.
“We must push back against the abuse and coercion by the Chinese government that is undermining the foundations of the international economic system,” Biden said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, delivered virtually from the White House.
“Everyone must abide by the same rules,” he said at the annual international policy meeting.
Biden’s appearance, his debut in front of an international audience since becoming president, comes as his administration seeks to maintain a firm stance on China while moving away from former President Donald Trump’s pugilistic relationship with Beijing.
The Trump administration has sought to reshape the US-China trade relationship, with a focus on boosting Beijing’s purchase of US goods while addressing issues such as intellectual property protection. and forced technology transfers.
After concluding the first “phase” of a deal, Trump in 2020 called off an additional round of trade talks with China, on which he fully blamed the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump’s “America First” political ethics also alienated some European leaders who had long been allies of the United States. Biden has made it clear that he intends to maintain warm relations with U.S. international partners.
“I know the last few years have strained our transatlantic relationship. But the United States is determined to re-engage with Europe,” Biden said at the start of his speech on Friday.
Before delivering his remarks, Biden met with leaders of the G7, the group of countries that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, to discuss d ‘a global response to the Covid pandemic.
In a joint declaration at the end of this meeting, the G7 pledged to “work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism”.
The G7 statement also announced that member countries would commit $ 7.5 billion in funding for COVAX, an international initiative that aims to improve access to Covid vaccines. The White House said Thursday that the United States will pledge $ 4 billion until 2022 for global immunization efforts.
The G7 meeting also affected China, the statement said. “With the aim of supporting a fair and mutually beneficial global economic system, we will engage with others, especially the G20 countries, including major economies such as China,” he said.
Biden went further in his speech.
“US and European companies are required to publicly disclose corporate governance structures … and to follow rules to deter corruption and monopoly practices. Chinese companies should be held to the same level,” the president said. .
“We need to stand up for the democratic values that make it possible to accomplish all of this, pushing back those who would monopolize and normalize repression,” Biden said.
The Chinese Embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Biden’s speech.
The president noted that “this is also how we will be able to face the threat from Russia”, which wants “to weaken the European project and our NATO alliance”.
“The challenges with Russia may be different from those with China, but they’re just as real,” Biden said.
“It is not about pitting East against West. It is not about, we want conflict. We want a future where all nations can freely determine their own course without the threat of violence or violence. coercion, ”Biden said. “We cannot and must not go back to the reflexive opposition and the rigid blocs of the Cold War.”
Read the full G7 joint statement:
“We, the leaders of the Group of Seven, have gathered today and decided to work together to defeat COVID-19 and build back better. Building on our strengths and values as democratic and open economies and societies, we will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism and shape a recovery that fosters the health and prosperity of our country. people and our planet.
“We will intensify cooperation in the area of the health response to COVID-19. The dedication of essential workers everywhere represents the best of humanity, while the rapid discovery of vaccines shows the power of human ingenuity. Working with, and together to strengthen, Global Health (WHO), and supporting its leadership and coordinating role, we will: accelerate the development and deployment of vaccines globally; working with industry to increase manufacturing capacity, including through voluntary licensing; improve information sharing, for example on the sequencing of new variants; and, promote transparent and accountable practices and confidence in vaccines. We reaffirm our support for all pillars of the COVID-19 Tool Accelerator (ACT-A), its COVAX facility and affordable and equitable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, reflecting the role of extensive immunization as a global public good. Today, with increased financial commitments of over US $ 4 billion to ACT-A and COVAX, the G7’s overall support stands at US $ 7.5 billion. We invite all partners, including the G20 and international financial institutions, to join us in increasing support for ACT-A, including increasing access for developing countries to WHO-approved vaccines through of the COVAX installation.
“COVID-19 shows the world needs stronger defenses against future risks to global health security. We will work with the WHO, the G20 and others, in particular through the World Health Summit in Rome, to strengthen the global health and safety architecture for pandemic preparedness. , including through health financing and rapid response mechanisms, strengthening the One Health approach and universal health coverage, and exploring the potential value of a global health treaty.
“We have provided unprecedented support to our economies over the past year, totaling over $ 6 trillion across the G7. We will continue to support our economies to protect jobs and support a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive recovery. We reaffirm our support for the most vulnerable countries, our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and our partnership with Africa, in particular to support a resilient recovery. We will work within the framework of the G20 and with international financial institutions to strengthen support for country responses by exploring all available tools, including through the full and transparent implementation of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. and the Common Framework.
“Recovery from COVID-19 must build back better for all. Regarding the UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15, we will place our global ambitions on climate change and reversing biodiversity loss at the center of our plans. We will make progress on mitigation, adaptation and finance in line with the Paris Agreement and ensure green transformation and clean energy transitions that reduce emissions and create good jobs on the path to net zero no later than 2050. We pledge to level our economies so that no geographic region or person, regardless of gender or ethnicity, is left behind. We will: defend economies and open societies; promote global economic resilience; exploit the digital economy with the free flow of data with confidence; to cooperate for a modernized, freer and fairer multilateral trade system based on a system that reflects our values and offers balanced growth with a reformed World Trade Organization at its center; and strive for a consensual solution on taxation by mid-2021 within the framework of the OECD. With the aim of supporting a fair and mutually beneficial global economic system, we will engage with others, especially the G20 countries, including major economies such as China. As leaders, we will consult on collective approaches to address non-market oriented policies and practices, and we will cooperate with others to address important global issues that affect all countries.
“ We resolve to agree concrete action on these priorities at the G7 summit in the UK in June, and we support Japan’s commitment to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a safe and secure manner this been as a unity symbol to overcome COVID-19. “
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