Biden terms
China ‘most
serious competitor’

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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) announced that “America is Back” and said that it will confront China, the “most serious competitor” to the United States and that Washington’s leadership must meet the new challenge of Beijing’s growing ambitions.

During his address at the State Department Biden said his administration “will take on directly challenges posed to our prosperity, security and democratic values by our most serious competitor, China.

“We’ll also confront their economic abuses. But we’re ready to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest,” Biden said in his first foreign policy address.

US President Joe Biden

“I want the world to hear a message today: America is back; diplomacy is back at the centre of our foreign policy. American leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism including the growing ambitions of China to rival the US and the determination of Russia,” he said during an address at the State Department. Biden has still not spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the US ties with China remain tense.

President Biden reiterated that the Americas allies are among “its greatest assets adding that leading with diplomacy means “engaging our adversaries and our competitors diplomatically.”

“Over the past two weeks, I’ve spoken with the leaders of many of our closest friends — Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Australia — to begin re-forming the habits of cooperation and rebuilding the muscles of democratic alliances that have atrophied from four years of neglect and abuse,” he said.

The President called the recent sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny as “deeply concerning” adding that the Russian President Vladamir Putin’s critic is entitled to his rights under the Russian Constitution.

“He has been targetted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and without condition,” he said adding that the United States can no longer afford to be absent from the world stage.

Among other announcements that Biden made on Thursday included stating that he will sign an executive order to restore US refugee resettlement programme, back to 125,000 persons.

Other announcements made by Biden include ordering a freeze on the withdrawal of US troops from Germany, issuing a memorandum protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals around the world and that pulling back support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Referencing the January 6 riots that broke out at Capitol Hill during the certification of the electoral votes, Biden said that many of the nation’s values have come under intense pressure in recent years and have “even pushed to the brink in the last few weeks and added that “the American people will emerge from this stronger, more determined, and better equipped to unite the world in fighting to defend democracy – because we have fought for it ourselves.” (ANI)