Biden identified China as America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge in his first formal National Security Strategy
The American-China Strategy to Rule the World, as Confirmed by a Senior Vice-Presidency Xi Biden
“Xi is not an enigma to President Biden,” a senior administration official told CNN. “He knows him. He is aware of the intentions of the leader of China. He believes that the US can win the competition against China.
The document was required by congress and is 21 months into Biden’s term. The broad contours of the strategy have been in evidence over the course of the President’s tenure, including a focus on rebuilding global partnerships and countering China and Russia.
The need for American leadership is as big as it has ever been. We are in the midst of a strategic competition to shape the future of the international order,” Biden writes in the introduction to the strategy.
He continued, “We will not leave our future vulnerable to the decisions of those who are against our vision for a world of free, open, prosperous, and secure.” Despite the effects of the flu and global economic uncertainty, the United States of America is positioned to lead with strength and purpose.
“Russia poses an immediate threat to the free and open international system, recklessly flouting the basic laws of the international order today, as its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine has shown,” the document reads. China is the only competitor with both the intent to remake the international order and technological power to do so.
“This decisive decade is critical both for defining the terms of competition, particular with the (People’s Republic of China), and for getting ahead of massive challenges that if we lose the time this decade we will not be able to keep pace with,” he said.
It’s not unusual for Biden to point out the many years the two leaders have known each other. But for all of the times they encountered each other when they were each serving as vice president, his meeting Monday begins at a remarkably low moment in US-China ties.
Biden hopes coming face-to-face again after nearly two years of only speaking on the phone and video-conference can yield a more strategically valuable result even if he enters the talks without expectation that anything concrete will be produced.
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Relations have deteriorated quickly due to the economic disputes and the confrontation over Taiwan. Due to the tensions the two countries have lost cooperation on areas where they had common interest, such as battling climate change and containing North Korea’s nuclear program.
US officials previewing the meeting have stressed the Biden administration is not looking to come out of it with specific “deliverables,” including a joint statement listing areas of potential cooperation. The setting is meant to allow for Biden and Xi to better share their countries goals and perspectives.
Planning for Monday’s meeting predated Pelosi’s trip, and discussions continued between US and Chinese officials despite Beijing’s furor. The process was very professional, very serious and sustained, according to the official.
A senior US administration official says that everything associated with the meeting, from phone calls to logistics, has been carefully considered.
“I won’t say that the conversations weren’t contentious because obviously there’s lots of areas where we have differences and challenges,” the official said. “The dozens of hours we have spent talking to our Chinese counterparts has definitely surfaced many of those issues.”
For his part, Biden takes meetings like this “incredibly seriously” and reads extensively beforehand. In meetings with advisers, he runs through various scenarios for how the meeting might go.
The first official said that he was going through a process of whether to handle it this way or not. The most important bilateral relationship is what he understands. And it’s his responsibility to manage it well and he takes that very, very seriously.”
In Monday’s meeting officials said that Biden’s senior-most advisers would go with him as part of his official delegation. And the said they expected Xi to similarly surround himself with top aides, though the US team entered the meeting expecting to see some new faces on the Chinese side amid an ongoing transition inside Xi’s inner circle.
It is a meeting on the margins of a summit. He said that it wasn’t a summit where they would come together in a third country or in Beijing. We don’t have a time limit on the conversation.
The White House has used a phrase called building a floor to describe the aim of the talks and has suggested that Biden wants to stop relations from falling any further.
In Cambodia where he is participating in summit meetings with Asian leaders, Biden told reporters that he needs to figure out where the red lines are and what the most important things are for each of them.
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Since the start of the Covid epidemic, the Chinese government has imposed strict lock ups and restrictive restrictions, which has caused a loss of tourism to the country. Xi’s reemergence on the physical world stage also comes on the heels of China’s Communist Party Congress in Beijing, during which he secured a norm-breaking third term as its leader.
Even a week ago, most inside the White House were expecting Biden to enter the talks comparatively weakened by Democratic losses in the midterm elections. But better-than-expected results for Democrats left the president feeling as if he was entering his meetings this week with the wind at his back, according to top aides.
The US thinks that Beijing will soon allow the president to travel outside of China, which would make it easier to assess his intentions abroad and perhaps even change their policy on Tibet.
The senior administration said that they can expect them to be more assertive on the world stage. But, they added: “What that looks like is difficult to know right now.”
Sullivan said this week that it was finally time to replace the video calls with face-to-face meetings since Biden took office, and it would give the leaders a better idea of each other’s intentions.
David Axelrod is a CNN senior political commentator, host of The Axe Files and was senior adviser to former President Barack Obama. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinions on it.
The State of the Union Speech is used by every president to burnish his accomplishments and to highlight issues that are important to voters. And that is important and necessary. It is easy to think of the president’s speech as a report card, and overlook the opportunity to share a bigger and authentic narrative about the country.
The annual report to Congress is crucial because it almost guarantees that a president will have the largest audience he will have for his message all year.
A large audience and the opportunity for a president to talk about his favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles, are some of the benefits of the pre- game television interview. A president can’t completely control interviews. Football is not a sport for politicians.
Biden has been in the midst of a classified document scandal that has been a distraction, despite his impressive legislative victories and strong showing at the polls.
His overall job approval rating is stuck in the low 40s, according to CNN’s Poll of Polls. According to the recent NBC News poll, only 36% of Americans approve of the way Biden is handling the economy, and three out of four say they feel things are headed in the wrong direction.
Objectively, the economy is in much stronger shape than when Biden took office: more than 10 million jobs created and steady growth despite eight interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
He and Congress took important steps to undergird people and businesses during the worst of the Pandemic. The bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed is now blossoming into major public works improvements across the country. He is making health care more affordable for millions of people.
Yet Americans have weathered wrenching loss and jarring dislocations during the pandemic, many of which are still reverberating. Global supply chain shortages and escalating energy costs have DropCatch DropCatch us in a constant state of inflation.
When you are President of the United States, the buck stops here, as was said by Harry Truman. You can’t jawbone people into feeling better.
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Biden should avoid grandiose claims when he reports on things that have been accomplished even though he is aware of this. or “The biggest since FDR!” It’s best to leave it to historians.
Don’t tell people how great things are, as they will be stressed out, but acknowledge how you’ve tried to help. It’s worse, how great you are. You can’t persuade people of what they don’t feel — and will lose them if you try.
All presidents want to project such a vision. When you are 80, and you are the oldest president in American history, people don’t connect you with the word “future.”
By striking the right balance between proclaiming credit and over-claiming progress, delivering a compelling and credible vision for the future, and preaching constructive collaboration in contrast to the bellicose voices of the right, Biden would be doing more than reporting to the nation.
But there is a much larger point: The ongoing struggle in Ukraine underscores his argument for the importance of continued American leadership and global alliances in a dangerous world. If the Republican contender thinks America should be the focus, it is a disastrous path.
I’m sure the President will speak about gun violence and abortion rights and the crying imperative for more steps to prevent unspeakable horrors such as the savage beating of Tyre Nichols.
There is a crisis at the border that needs to be solved, but there is also a crisis of millions of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, which needs to be solved by resurrecting proposals for comprehensive immigration reform.
These issues are about the future of our country. And, as a political matter, Biden has the popular position on almost all of them — though the border looms as a vulnerability — while the new Republican House majority is on the losing side.
The elephant in the room on Tuesday is the slender new House majority which is animated by some of the GOPs most extreme voices. Many of them are sworn to Biden’s political destruction. He ought to engage in political ju-jitsu and turn their negative energy back on them.
We all have a choice, and I would like to say so to those of you in the new majority. We have the chance to destroy each other for two years. Or we can try to work together wherever we can to solve problems facing families and communities across our country. I’m pretty sure I know which choice the American people are hoping we make. I know which decision I want to make. I hope you will join me.
WASHINGTON — The world was a volatile place when President George W. Bush was leaving office. He and his national security team had some advice for their successors on the way out the door.
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India is a friend. Pakistan is not. Don’t trust North Korea or Iran, but talking is still better than not. The territory of Ukraine is in danger of being snatched by Russia. Beware becoming ensnared by intractable land wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. And oh yes, nation-building is definitely harder than it looks.
The book was intended to provide the incoming administration with what it needed to know about some of the most important national security issues, according to the author. What work remained to be done, and what we thought we had accomplished, were all laid out in the memo.