Biden wants to stay engaged with Russia and China

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Anyone attempting to frame the Russian policy of the Biden presidency from the body of statements by current and potential new administration officials would now know that the range of instincts and perspectives contained in those statements did not reflect or anticipate. really what was will happen – the next summit meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16.

It’s reasonable to conclude that Russian policy will ultimately be shaped by Biden’s priorities and his effectiveness in moving them forward. Biden brought to the Oval Office far more foreign affairs and diplomacy experience than any of his last four predecessors combined – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

Simply put, Biden’s leadership is and will remain the most important element in shaping US foreign policy in the current administration.

Therefore, the blunt remarks about Chinese policy made by Kurt Campbell, the coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs at the National Security Council at an event hosted by Stanford University on Wednesday, raised eyebrows.

Campbell proclaimed, “The period that was widely described as a commitment has come to an end.” He predicted that US policy towards China will now operate under a “new set of strategic parameters”, adding that “the dominant paradigm will be competition.”

Sources say Campbell blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping for being responsible for the change in US policy – citing military clashes on the Sino-Indian border, an “economic campaign” against Australia and alleged Chinese “warrior diplomacy”. -loup ‘(i.e. Chinese diplomats” robust counterattack in recent times to cheeky, belligerent and provocative American rhetoric.)

Campbell said Beijing’s behavior was emblematic of a shift to “hard or strong power,” which “indicates that China is determined to play a more assertive role.”

Campbell was apparently present at Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s talks with Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Alaska in April. Perhaps it was Campbell’s brilliant idea that Blinken should adopt a belligerent tone and go on the offensive as soon as talks began in Anchorage.

But it exploded. And Campbell now blames the accident on President Xi, whom he described as “deeply ideological, but also not very sentimental” and “not very interested in the economy,” a mixture of personal attributes, more than ‘a disposition against the grain than a moral one. conviction. Obviously, Campbell is manhandled under the rebuff from Alaska – and that too in plain sight of the TV cameras – and has taken on Xi, Yang, and Wang.

Now does this gibberish become the stuff of superpower policy towards another superpower? More importantly, does he represent Biden’s opinion? Biden has claimed an intimate knowledge of Xi on a uniquely personal level in formal, informal, and casual settings in both China and the United States.

Campbell spoke almost like Blinken used to talk about Russia in European capitals until very recently, when he finally began to sense that Biden intended to have an early meeting with Putin and asked to Sullivan. to set up the summit quickly.

Oddly enough, on the same day Campbell shot Xi, the new US Trade Representative Katherine Tai held a “virtual introductory meeting” with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, “to discuss the importance of the relationship. trade ”between the United States and China. .

the Reading in the United States said they had had a “frank exchange”. Tai discussed the “guiding principles” of the Biden administration’s “worker-centered trade policy” and his own ongoing review of the US-China trade relationship. The reading pointed out that Tai “looks forward to future discussions” with Liu.

Reporting on this “frank” discussion, the Global Times has commented that he sent “a positive signal that the world’s two largest economies are relaunching communication amid growing uncertainties and continuing disputes over a wide range of issues.” He said the exchanges were “frank, pragmatic and constructive” and stressed that the two officials had agreed to “continue to maintain communication”.

Campbell, who holds a leadership position in the White House bureaucracy, but lo and behold, hours after his rant against Xi, Biden’s cabinet minister sets the ball rolling to engage his Chinese counterpart on what is arguably the one of the most vital models in the United States. Relation to China – and even Biden’s foreign policy for the American middle class.

The same “Russia syndrome” appears here. There is no coherent unified political line regarding US engagement with the Kremlin (or Beijing). Vladimir Vasilyev, a senior expert at the Institute of American and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow recently said: “Biden believes he will benefit from a meeting with Putin because he will show that not only can Trump find common ground with troublesome foreign leaders for America.

“But, perhaps, Blinken views the upcoming talks with more skepticism. One has the impression that now the system of Russian-American relations is supervised in Washington by several “leaders”. This could disrupt the talks, or they could end without any results.

In fact, an experienced Russian observer and former US diplomat Rose Gottemoeller (who previously served as NATO Assistant Secretary General and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security at the State Department ) is lucid in anticipating that the Geneva summit is potentially capable of letting the two leaders establish a working relationship and lay the foundations for future US-Russian cooperation!

“I see this summit as the first meeting of Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva in 1985, the so-called ‘fireside summit’. The two men had very direct and difficult conversations, but at the same time they established a working relationship which gave way to further progress, ”Gottemoeller mentionned.

Susan Sontag once said, “No one can think and hit someone at the same time.” This appears to be the plight of officials in the Biden administration over Russia and China. Russophobia and Sinophobia are so widespread among the US foreign policy elite, while Biden’s own agenda would be to make these all-important relationships stable and predictable.

Biden stressed that his foreign policy vision will be nationally driven and tied to the American middle class, that is, aimed at creating jobs, promoting economic growth, modernizing infrastructure and securing the equity in American society.

So the need to engage with China on trade issues is perfectly understandable at a time when American farmers have lost the vast majority of what was once a $ 24 billion market in China. The lifting of tariffs will be a key issue that will be discussed in subsequent trade negotiations between China and the United States, and the two countries are likely to reach consensus on at least the phasing out of tariffs. Suffice it to say that engagement with China is inevitable.

On the flip side, there has been a general decline in US hegemony in recent years and US pressure and hostility towards China and Russia has only pushed those two countries to unite. Neither China nor Russia considers the United States qualified to speak to them from a position of strength. Yang told Blinken in Alaska in March – and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov immediately echoed it, saying Russia will not let the United States speak to him “from a position of strength.”

Indeed, Putin could visit China after his summit with Biden. The 20th anniversary of the signing of the 2001 China-Russia Friendship Treaty on July 16 and the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on July 1 have been mentioned in Chinese media as “friendly occasions.”

Campbell forgets that the US-Russia-China triangle no longer works on the lines Henry Kissinger wrote about. The decline of Washington’s strength and influence globally requires that in regions such as Eurasia, Central Asia, West Asia, and Asia-Pacific, Beijing and Moscow reflect on more and more how to find new regional orders.

The Biden administration’s strategic communication and engagement with Russia and China becomes imperative in order for the replacement of the dysfunctional and archaic “Pax Americana” to unfold without friction – both with regard to the situation around the country. North Korea and Iran, Israel. Palestinian conflict or wars in Afghanistan and Syria.

Courtesy: Indian punchline



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