Joe Biden sets up Quad and NATO in pincer to counter China | World News

WASHINGTON: Disclosing that Beijing tried to dissuade Washington from forming the Quad with India, Japan, and Australia, US President Joe Biden has outlined a two-front response to counter China and Russia, shoring up both Pacific and Atlantic partnerships during his ongoing trip to Europe.
The intent to restore multi-lateral American primacy in the face of perceived twin challenges to the US from China and Russia was expressed in statements and communiques that bluntly named the countries and the US response to what Washington sees as their not playing by global rules.
In course of a press conference at the end of the G7 summit in UK, President Biden revealed that a Chinese leader, when told that he (Biden) when elected President was going to “reestablish the strength of American relationships so we can be counted on again…suggested ‘Well, maybe you shouldn’t get the Quad… — meaning India, Japan, Australia, and the United States — and maybe you shouldn’t be pushing on strengthening the European Union‘”
But that is precisely what Biden has sought to accomplish during his maiden Presidential visit across the pond — strengthening Pacific and Atlantic partnerships to contain China and Russia in a pincer, even though they present different challenges.
“I conveyed to each of my G7 counterparts that…America is back at the table. The lack of participation in the past and full engagement was noticed significantly, not only by the leaders of those countries, but by the people in the G7 countries,” Biden said in an oblique swipe at his predecessor Donald Trump at a press conference at the conclusion of G7, adding, “America is back in the business of leading the world alongside nations who share our most deeply held values..I felt a genuine sense of enthusiasm that America was back at the table and fully, fully engaged.”
Elaborating on unprecedented multiple references to China in the G7 communique, Biden, having launched a counter to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative with the so-called B3W (“Build Back Better World”) Partnership, said the US is not looking for a conflict with China but will respond to actions that is inconsistent with international norms.
“I know this is going sound somewhat prosaic, but I think we’re in a contest — not with China per se, but a contest with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in the rapidly changing 21st century. And I think how we act and whether we pull together as democracies is going to determine whether our grandkids look back 15 years from now and say, “Did they step up? Are democracies as relevant and as powerful as they have been?” Biden said.
On the Atlantic front Biden told Nato leaders on Monday that the defence of Europe, Turkey and Canada was a “sacred obligation” for the US, a marked shift from Trump’s diminution of the military alliance.
In a clear sign of a new two-front cold war that pits Moscow and Beijing as twin threats to US primacy, Biden spoke of them in same breath, saying “there is a growing recognition over the last couple years that we have new challenges. We have Russia, which is acting in a way that is not consistent with what we had hoped, and we have China.”
Nato was hitherto geared towards challenges from Russia but a communique at the end of the one-day summit for the first time identified China’s rising military ambitions and its expanding reach and capabilities as challenged NATO has to address.
“China’s stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to Alliance security. We are concerned by those coercive policies which stand in contrast to the fundamental values enshrined in the Washington Treaty. China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and a larger number of sophisticated delivery systems to establish a nuclear triad. It is opaque in implementing its military modernisation and its publicly declared military-civil fusion strategy. It is also cooperating militarily with Russia, including through participation in Russian exercises in the Euro-Atlantic area. We remain concerned with China’s frequent lack of transparency and use of disinformation,” the Brussels communique said in unprecedented references to China, calling on Beijing to “uphold its international commitments and to act responsibly in the international system, including in the space, cyber, and maritime domains, in keeping with its role as a major power.”

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