Biden lays out foreign policy priorities at Munich summit

Joanna Estrada
February 20, 2021

Joe Biden will make his first big appearance on the global stage as president on Friday, offering Group of Seven allies and other foreign leaders a glimpse into his plans to dramatically reshape US foreign policy even as he deals with a number of worldwide crises that are coming to a head.

"We have to push back against the Chinese government's economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the global economic system", the president said in his address to the Munich conference.

U.S. President Joe Biden has called on partners to stand up for Ukraine, which has been suffering against Russian aggression.

President Biden will deliver a robust defense of America's own democracy, and the broader power of democracies to face autocratic threats from China and Russian Federation, during a virtual address Friday to the Munich Security Conference.

"We will be back", Biden told attendees.

"The last four years have been hard, but Europe and the United States have to lead with confidence once more".

The Biden administration announced Thursday its desire to reengage Iran, and it took action at the United Nations aimed at restoring policy to what it was before President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

"Our partnerships have endured and grown through the years because they are rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values", Biden said.

Here, he drew a stark difference with the more transactional foreign policy practised by Trump, who angered allies by breaking off global accords and threatening to end defense assistance unless they toed his line.

Collective strength, Biden said, is the only way to succeed when a worldwide contest between democracy and autocracy is at an "inflection point".

"In too many places, including in Europe and the United States, democratic progress is under assault", Biden said.

"Historians will examine and write about this moment. And I believe with every ounce of my being that democracy must prevail".

Biden said he was not seeking a return to "the rigid blocs of the Cold War", insisting that the global community must work together on issues like the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, even where deep disagreements exist on other issues.

As of Friday, the US will officially be a party to the Paris climate accord again, the administration official said.

Speaking first to a virtual meeting of the leaders of the Group of Seven nations, Biden will commit to addressing three "immediate" global crises, according to the official: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis and climate change.

And while Trump launched a combative, bilateral trade war with China, Biden planned to work with G-7 leaders to pursue a multilateral approach to trying to put an end to China's "non-market-oriented policies and practices", a senior administration official said.

"The Kremlin attacks our democracies and weaponizes corruption to try to undermine our system of governance". Putin seeks to weaken the European project and our NATO Alliance.

"The United States is fully committed to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, and I welcome your investment in the military capabilities that enable our shared defences", Biden said.

"We have to push back against the Chinese government's economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the global economic system".

"Chinese companies should be held to the same standard" as United States and European companies facing onerous restrictions on their presence in China, he said.

Biden won't get into a specific timetable for negotiations with Iran but generally express an openness to reengaging in diplomacy to bring Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

A picture taken on February 19, 2021 at the Elysee Palace in Paris shows the screen as French President Emmanuel Macron attend a video-conference meeting with US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during 2021 Munich Security Conference, amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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