World Blinken says China presents top challenge to US foreign policy
ISIS Is Down but Not Dead Yet
The ghost of the 2003 Iraq war has hung over and shaped every decision the United States has made on the Syrian civil war since 2011 across two administrations. Now, the incoming administration of President Joe Biden will soon grapple with the same question Biden confronted as vice president: how to handle the Islamic State as it finds openings and regroups. As it looks ahead, the Biden administration would be wise to study how the U.S. worked to end the Islamic State’s territorial grip on Syria two years back—and who laid down their lives for it. © Provided by The Daily Beast STR/Getty The U.S.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined the new Biden administration’s strategic vision for the US foreign policy and identified China as the top geopolitical challenge facing the United States.
In a wide-ranging speech in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Secretary Blinken framed President Joe Biden’s view of the world as a contest between democracy and authoritarianism and promised the US would “lead with diplomacy” not military intervention.
US 'gravely concerned' over Tigray situation: Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday condemned alleged atrocities committed in Ethiopia's Tigray and called on the African Union and other international partners to help address the crisis in the conflict-hit region. "We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray, including through action at the UN and other relevant bodies," Blinken said.His comments came a day after a report by Amnesty International alleging Eritrean soldiers fighting in Tigray had killed hundreds of people in November last year in what the rights group described as a likely crime against humanity.
Blinken linked President Biden’s planned repairs of the US economy and democracy at home to the renewal of American influence and power abroad and argued US foreign policy and domestic wellbeing must be linked.
“The more we and other democracies can show the world that we can deliver – not only for our people but also for each other – the more we refute the lie that authoritarian countries love to tell, that theirs is the better way to meet people’s fundamental needs, and hopes,” Blinken said.
“It’s on us to prove them wrong,” he said.
Blinken cited Russia, Iran and North Korea as “serious challenges”. In addition, “there are serious crises we have to deal with” in Yemen, Ethiopia and Myanmar, he said.
Blinken said the US-China relationship presents the “biggest geopolitical test of the 21st Century”.
Biden Administration China Ties Reveal a Deeper Disturbing Truth | Opinion
The U.S. has helped create its most formidable adversary.Personnel is policy. By dint of such ties, and past dutiful service to administrations that pursued the very policies of engagement and accommodation that enabled Communist China's rise, we can surmise that the president, and the architects of his agenda, will likely be uniquely soft on China.
“China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system, all the rules, values and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to,” Blinken said.
The US would collaborate with China where possible and compete as necessary but always from “a position of strength” and with the participation of allies, Blinken said.
“It requires engaging in diplomacy and in international organisations because where we pull back, China has filled in,” Blinken said.
The US stands against China’s abuse of Uighur human rights in Xianjing and trampling of democracy in Hong Kong, he said.
The US is seeking to re-engage Iran in negotiations to prevent it from gaining nuclear capabilities and faces a continuing challenge from North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.
Biden has called for an end to the war in Yemen and Blinken spoke on March 2 with Ethiopia’s prime minister on Tuesday to express US concerns about reports of atrocities in the Tigray region.
Blinken calls China biggest 'test,' vows US strength
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the United States was ready to confront China where need be, calling the Asian power the "biggest geopolitical test" of the century. "We will manage the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century: our relationship with China," Blinken said at the State Department. He promised to champion the rights of Hong Kong and the ethnic Uighurs, saying that if not, "China will act with even greater impunity.
In Myanmar, the Biden administration has imposed sanctions on military leaders and called for the restoration of the democratically elected civilian government after the February 1 coup d’etat.
Blinken spoke of “hard lessons learned” in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria where US forces have been engaged in combat operations for much of the past 20 years.
“Americans are rightly wary of prolonged US military interventions abroad. We’ve seen how they often come at far too high costs both to us and to others,” Blinken said.
“When we look back at the past decades of our military involvement in the world, especially in Afghanistan and the Middle East, we must remember what we’ve learned about the limits of force to build a durable peace,” he said.
“It is critical to pursue every possible avenue to a diplomatic solution.”
At the same time, Blinken said, the Biden administration “will never hesitate to use force when American lives and vital interests are at stake”, justifying the US air attack last week on “Iranian-backed militia groups targeting US and coalition forces in Iraq”.
President Biden is weighing whether to withdraw 2,500 US troops from Afghanistan by May 1 under a deal struck with the Taliban by former President Donald Trump.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is preparing a recommendation on troop levels for Biden after consulting with NATO allies.
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is holding discussions in Kabul and Doha on the way forward, the State Department said on February 28.
Eye on China, Biden holds first summit with Japan, India, Australia .
US President Joe Biden on Friday holds the first-ever four-way summit with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, ramping up efforts to cement alliances as concerns grow over a rising China. Friday's four-way summit, while virtual, will mark the first time that leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia have met together following more than a decade of meetings at lower levels of the so-called "Quad."In a flurry of diplomacy, Japan announced that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will become the first foreign leader to see Biden in person, a sign of the primacy the new US leader attaches to allies.