Biden to meet Trudeau virtually in first meeting with foreign leader

James Marshall
February 21, 2021

President Joe Biden has declared the "transatlantic alliance is back" in a powerful speech seeking to reestablish the United States as leader of the West against what he called a global assault on democracy.

"A new world is rising up around us, patterns of trade and commerce are changing, the global center of gravity is moving eastwards, the technological revolution proceeds with blistering speed", Johnson said.

"It's an inflection point".

The British leader said he believes that "Europe increasingly recognizes the necessity of joining our American friends to rediscover that farsighted leadership and the spirit of adventure and trans-Atlantic unity that made our two continents great in the first place".

Demonstrating that democracies can still deliver was their galvanising mission, he added, saying: "Democracy will and must prevail". Democracy doesn't happen by accident.

Mr Biden urged his audience to prepare together for a long-term strategic competition with China, in particular pushing back against what he described as its economic abuses.

But she also noted that it is a "complex" issue, because while China is a competitor, cooperating with it could help in resolving such global issues as climate change and biodiversity.

He said America and its allies "can own the race for the future" but to do so they must be "clear-eyed".

This echoed Biden's own declaration that "the trans-Atlantic alliance is back", and hinted at a new direction of worldwide relations, under which the US and its European allies align their foreign policies to adapt to the new realities, including a gravitational shift toward Asia.

"Everyone, everyone, must play by the same rules".

The president said Chinese companies must be held to the same standards as U.S. ones, the intellectual property of others must be protected, and "norms of behaviour in cyberspace" must be established.

Later in the day, Biden also spoke to the Munich Security Conference online.

He said: "The Kremlin attacks our democracies and weaponises corruption to try to undermine our systems of governance". President Vladimir Putin "seeks to weaken the European project and our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance".

Mr Biden vowed to stand up for Ukraine's territorial integrity.

But Biden delivered harsh warnings about the threats he said are posed by Russian Federation and China.

He said his administration was "prepared to re-engage in negotiations" with the UN Security Council on Tehran's nuclear programme.

On Iran, Biden reiterated his pledge to return to worldwide negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program, but said "we must address Iran's destabilising activities across the Middle East".

But analysts also noted that while the U.S. defined democracy as essential, the Europeans did not describe it quite as centrally, focusing more on other issues instead.

Biden, according to a press release issued by the US Department of State, said: "I'm announcing that the United States is making a $2 billion pledge to COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access), with the promise of an additional $2 billion to urge others to step up as well".

He said no one could now do the "bare minimum" and countries must "rapidly accelerate emissions commitments, hold one another accountable, and increase ambitions".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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