Biden’s global strategy tackles China, Russia and domestic needs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Wednesday outlined a national security strategy aimed at reining in an ascendant China and a more assertive Russia, while stressing that domestic investments are key to helping the United States compete in the critical decade. coming.

The administration’s first national security strategy, a document required by law, underscores the need for a foreign policy that balances the interests of global allies with those of middle-class Americans.

“We understand that if the United States is to succeed abroad, we must invest in our innovation and industrial strength, and build our resilience, at home,” the strategy says. “Similarly, to advance shared prosperity domestically and to uphold the rights of all Americans, we must proactively shape the international order in accordance with our interests and values.”

In broad brushstrokes, the strategy outlines a “decisive decade” for national security, as President Joe Biden faces a world arguably more complicated than when he took office 21 months ago in the middle of the worst global pandemic in a century. At the same time, the White House said policymakers must “avoid the temptation to view the world only through a competitive lens and engage countries on their own terms.”

Biden came to power championing a “middle-class foreign policy” that sought to put greater emphasis on China as a growing economic and military competitor, reinvigorate alliances that had frayed under the Trump administration. and to protect human rights, while watching out for the United States. interests.

Administration officials say a focus on U.S. interests remains central to Biden’s foreign policy vision. But the new strategy document also reflects the long list of crises that have left the world facing common challenges, including climate change, food insecurity, communicable diseases and inflation.

“We are in the early years of a landmark decade,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a speech at Georgetown University to highlight the release of the document. “The terms of our competition with the People’s Republic of China will be fixed. The window of opportunity for dealing with common challenges like climate change will shrink dramatically, even as the intensity of those challenges increases. So we have to seize our moment.

The document underscores the need to compete effectively with China, which the administration says is the only competitor with both the intent and, increasingly, the ability to reshape the international order, while forcing a Dangerous Russia.

Biden faces a nearly eight-month-long Russian war in Ukraine that is ravaging the global economy, increasingly assertive action by China toward the self-governing island of Taiwan, growing nuclear concerns in Iran and Korea. of the North and strained relations with oil. rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Around the world, the need for American leadership is greater than it has ever been. We are in the midst of a strategic competition to shape the future of the international order,” Biden said in the introduction to the document. “Meanwhile, the shared challenges impacting people everywhere require increased global cooperation and nations are taking responsibility at a time when this has become more difficult.”

Sullivan, in remarks to reporters ahead of the speech, said the Ukraine crisis delayed the rollout of the document, but did not “fundamentally change” Biden’s approach to the strategy. The administration originally planned to release the strategy in February.

“I believe it vividly presents the key elements of our approach: the focus on allies, the importance of strengthening the hand of the democratic world and standing up for our fellow democracies and democratic values,” Sullivan said. .

On the issue of oil, Biden said Wednesday that the administration would “react to Saudi Arabia” in response to the Riyadh-led OPEC+ alliance’s announcement last week that it would cut oil production. The president’s comments came after he said a day earlier that the Saudis would face the “consequences” of the move.

Democratic lawmakers are proposing legislation that would end US military sales to the Saudis in light of oil production cuts, which White House officials say will help fellow OPEC+ member Russia. to replenish its coffers as it continues its war in Ukraine.

Biden has already begun reviewing potential actions and will consider calling for an end to arms sales to Riyadh. Sullivan said a decision on arms sales was not imminent.

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