Joe Biden: Expert discusses plan to 'put pressure' on China
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Mr Biden has been an outspoken critic of Brexit and many observers believed the 78-year-old would favour strengthening ties with Europe during his Presidency. Less than a month into his term, officials in the Biden-administration are understood to be annoyed at the position taken by the EU in terms of its relationship with China and Russia. One foreign policy adviser to Mr Biden said his team had grown “irritated and frustrated” by decisions made by Brussels.
The insider told the Sunday Times: “There is frustration and impatience with the positioning of the EU and Germany, particularly over China.”
It comes as EU strengthened trade links with Beijing amid alleged human rights abuses in China.
The bloc has also pressed ahead with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Germany and Russia – a deal officials in Washington believe will make the EU economically reliant on Moscow.
Brexit has enabled the UK to distance itself from EU foreign policy and Britain has challenged China to deal with climate change – a key policy of Mr Biden.
Erik Brattberg, director of the Europe Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says the Biden administration has been encouraged by the stance taken by the UK.
He said: “Some people advising Biden wanted to downgrade relations with London because of the Trump-Boris bromance and Brexit.
“But there’s a lot of appreciation in DC about the new foreign policy signals coming out of London about taking on China, about climate change. They are encouraged by the UK’s approach so far.”
On Friday, Boris Johnson will chair a virtual meeting with world leaders ahead of the G7 summit in June.
The event will mark Mr Biden’s first major multilateral engagement since entering the White House.
Next week, the 46th US President will also deliver a speech to the Munich Security Conference, which is seen as a key opportunity to strengthen ties with nations around the world.
In his first foreign policy speech as US President earlier this month, Mr Biden reiterated his desire of “rebuilding the muscle of democratic alliances”.
He said: “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, Australia — to begin reforming the habits of cooperation and rebuilding the muscle of democratic alliances that have atrophied over the past few years of neglect.”
He added: “America’s alliances are our greatest asset, and leading with diplomacy means standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies and key partners once again.
“By leading with diplomacy, we must also mean engaging our adversaries and our competitors diplomatically, where it’s in our interest, and advance the security of the American people.”
Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former British ambassador to Washington, believes Mr Biden will uphold his international responsibilities, but insists his immediate focus will be on domestic US affairs.
He said: “You have to have some degree of realism about the bandwidth
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“Biden has to put domestic policy and the unity of the country first, because without that there’s absolutely no chance that America will have the will, the patience, the resources to become an international player once more.”
Sir Nigel added: “America is still indispensable for doing much in the world.
“I don’t think Biden will shirk his international responsibilities, but the rest of the world will have to realise that they are inwardly focused for the time being. There’s limited capacity for major international initiatives.”
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