United States President Joe Biden will travel to Asia to meet with allies, including a face-to-face meeting with Xi Jinping.
The foreign dignitary prepares for consecutive major summits with his allies in the East. During the trip, Biden will focus on several issues, including climate change, the war between Ukraine and Russia. He will also discuss countering China’s planned expansion of influence. Biden expects a more robust audience following his better-than-expected outcome in the midterm polls.
“It will give Biden a feeling that he has maybe a little bit of wind at his back. Republicans look to have a margin in the House of Representatives. But, still, it was less of a loss than I think many had expected for the Democrats,” said Zack Cooper, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
If Democrats experienced a resounding defeat in the 2022 polls, it would raise concerns among his allies. Republican control in both the House and Senate means a likely return of Donald Trump. The former president does not like the idea of getting ‘too friendly’ with other countries in the East. However, now that the Democratic Party garnered favorable results in the election, Biden has become confident about facing the international community.
“So, while the American voters don’t vote on foreign policy issues, there’s no doubt that this result will help Biden in his relations with the rest of the world,” said Ivo Daalder, US NATO ambassador during the Obama administration.
Biden meeting with Xi Jinping
According to Biden, his meeting with Xi will not affect his policy on Taiwan. Tensions arose following the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. The matter still needs to be resolved, but Biden said he would speak with Xi. However, Bonnie Glase, the Asia program director at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, said mending things with Xi proved to be an arduous task
“They haven’t shown any will to do anything with this administration. In part because they think this administration is implacably hostile toward them,” he said.
However, Biden made it clear that his visit is to set some limits with the Easter superpower.
“I’ve told them I’m looking for competition, not conflict. And so what I want to do with him when we talk is lay out what each of our red lines is. Understand what he believes to be in the critical national interest of China, what I know to be the critical interest of the United States. And to determine whether or not they conflict with one another,” the president said.
Russia at the G-20
The president will also make an appearance during the G-20 to discuss pertinent issues concerning the international community. However, he expects Russian President Vladimir Putin not to attend the meeting. But according to Biden, he would still call to end the hostilities between both countries, as it has already affected the globe considerably.
“We will be unapologetic in calling out Russia for its brutal war. And we will also work closely with our partners to address the impacts of the war,” said a Biden official.
“We know the issues that the G-20 faces: the big themes of this meeting are energy security and food security. And those issues both, of course, touch on the war in Ukraine. So even if Vladimir Putin is not there, his spirit is hovering over the G-20,” added Melinda Haring from the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.
Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery