Former vice president and the Democratic Party frontrunner in the 2020 presidential campaign Joe Biden said the US needs to reach out to India and other partners in Asia to “fortify” its collective capabilities while strengthening cooperation with “friends” beyond Europe. Laying out his foreign policy vision for America, Biden said he will focus to restore dignified leadership at home and respected leadership on the world stage.
Arguing that America’s policies at home and abroad are deeply connected, 76-year-old Biden said that if elected, he will advance the security, prosperity, and values of the United States by taking immediate steps to renew its own democracy and alliances, protect its economic future, and once more place America at the head of the table, leading the world to address the most urgent global challenges.
“We need to look for opportunities to strengthen domestic cooperation with friends beyond North America and Europe, reaching to our partners in Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Australia, India to fortify our collective capabilities,” Biden said in a speech at The Graduate Center at The City University of New York here Thursday. He said during his first year in office, he will organise and host a global Summit for Democracy to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the Free World.
He said he will bring together the world’s democracies to strengthen the democratic institutions, honestly confront the challenge of nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda to address threats to our common values. The Summit would prioritise results by galvanising significant new country commitments in the areas of fighting corruption, defending against authoritarianism, including election security and advancing human rights in their own nations and abroad.
In a Biden administration, America will lead by example and rally the world to meet the common challenges that no one nation can face on its own, including climate change, nuclear proliferation, great power aggression, transnational terrorism, cyberwarfare and mass migration.
Biden also strongly criticised President Donald Trump’s erratic policies, saying failure to uphold basic democratic principles have surrendered America’s position in the world, undermined its democratic alliances, weakened its ability to mobilise others to meet these challenges, and threatened its security and future.
“The world sees [President Donald] Trump for what he is: insincere, ill-informed, and impulsive. Sometimes corrupt. Dangerously incompetent, and incapable, in my view, of world leadership and leadership at home,” Biden said. “The threat that I believe President Trump poses to our national security and where we are as a country is extreme,” Biden said, adding that Trump’s “chest-thumping”, erratic policies and failure to uphold basic democratic principles have “muddled our reputation and our place in the world.”
Biden also made a scathing attack on how Trump is dealing with China, saying Beijing was “playing the long game.” “We need to get tough with China,” he said. “The most effective way that we need to change is to build a united front of friends and partners to challenge China’s abusive behaviour, even as we seek to deepen cooperation on issues where our interests are converged like climate change and preventing nuclear proliferation,” he said. Biden’s campaign said that he strongly believes economic security is national security and that is why, as president, Biden will pursue a foreign policy for the middle class. He said to win the competition for the future against China or anyone else, America must sharpen its innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to counter abusive economic practices.
The campaign also added that as president, Biden will end the “forever wars” in Afghanistan and the Middle East, which have cost the country untold blood and treasure. He would bring the vast majority of American troops home from Afghanistan and narrowly focus the US mission on Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Biden also slammed Trump for his relationship with authoritarian leaders like Kim Jong-un of North Korea, saying “we do not coddle dictators.”
He said Trump “undermines our Democratic alliances while embracing dictators who appeal to his vanity… Make no mistake about it — the world sees Trump for what he is: insincere, ill-informed and impulsive.”
In North Korea, Biden said as president, he will empower American negotiators and jump start a sustained, coordinated campaign with its allies and others, including China, to advance the shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea. On Iran, he said the historic Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama-Biden administration alongside American allies and other world powers, blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Yet Trump decided to cast it aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, bringing the region to the cusp of another disastrous war.
He said if Tehran returns to compliance with the deal, as president he would re-enter the agreement, using hard-nosed diplomacy and support from America’s allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities. He stressed that “American leadership is not infallible — we’ve made missteps and mistakes. But let me be clear — I will never hesitate to protect the American people.”