US to focus on beating China, constraining Russia: Biden
The Biden administration is pushing for a harsher stance against China and Russia as it perceives both states as a threat.
Washington is going to prioritize winning a competition with China while working to constrain a "dangerous" Russia, the Biden administration said Wednesday, noting that China was the only global rival to the United States.
The Biden administration released its national strategy at a time later than expected due to the Ukraine war, with the White House saying this decade would be "a decisive decade" for the reduction of conflict and the confrontation of climate change. It is worth noting that the United States ranks second in the world in terms of CO2 emissions.
Just yesterday, the United Nations and the Red Cross published a report underlining how the ongoing climate crisis could ravage the Earth so much so that several areas in the world would be rendered uninhabitable in the coming decades.
"We will prioritize maintaining an enduring competitive edge over the PRC (People's Republic of China) while constraining a still profoundly dangerous Russia," the strategy said. "The most pressing strategic challenge facing our vision is from powers that layer authoritarian governance with a revisionist foreign policy."
Russia under President Vladimir Putin, according to the strategy, "poses an immediate threat to the free and open international system, recklessly flouting the basic laws of the international order today as its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine has shown."
The strategy closely follows interim guidance drawn up by the Biden administration shortly after the Democrat became president last year. The slight difference, however, is that Biden for the majority of this year allocated billions upon billions of dollars to the Ukraine war to arms Kiev against Russia, while also trying to rally Washington's allies against Moscow.
"I don't believe that the war in Ukraine has fundamentally altered Joe Biden's approach to foreign policy, which long predates his presidency," said Biden's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan.
Earlier in the month, Biden signed a bill approving appropriations through December 16, 2022, including an additional $12.4 billion to support Ukraine.
The US Senate had approved the fresh economic and military aid for Ukraine as part of Washington's stopgap extension of the US federal budget into December.
The bill, which was met with bipartisan support, includes $3 billion for arms, supplies, and salaries for the Ukrainian military, while authorizing US President Joe Biden to direct the Department of Defense to provide Ukraine with $3.7 billion of its own weapons and materiel using his Presidential Drawdown Authority.
The act further provides $4.5 billion for Kiev to stabilize the country's finances and keep the government afloat.
China on track to taking over world
The strategy outlines Washington's fearmongering and propaganda tactics, saying Beijing's aspirations included a world order molded to fit "its own authoritarian model."
The strategy completely dismissed repeated denials from China of accusations that it was seeking hegemony, saying Beijing wanted to create a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific region and "become the world's leading power".
The strategy also saw Biden calling for major investments at home - not to help the working class, but to undermine the Chinese economy - as Washington pumps billions into the semiconductors manufacturing sector and increases the country's capacity for chips. However, the strategy said Biden wanted to "peacefully" coexist with China as it "responsibly" manages the competition.
Biden pushed for the CHIPS Act that saw Washington boosting the sector with $52 billion in subsidies for semiconductor manufacturers to counter China's technological prowess.
Aside from initiatives to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) research and development, the Chips Act for the US includes what US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called "strong guardrails", including banning firms from using funds awarded through the act for stock buybacks or dividend payments and companies who received federal financial support from engaging in particular expansions of semiconductor manufacturing in countries of concern.
"We are not seeking to have competition tip over into confrontation or a new Cold War and we are not engaging each country as simply a proxy battleground," Sullivan said.
The strategy also comes as some sort of a power move against Saudi Arabia, as there was no mention of the country in the 48-pages-long document as the Biden administration is continuously making statements about "re-evaluating" its ties with Riyadh over oil production cuts from OPEC+.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s member states voted last week on cutting their production of oil and agreed to reduce their oil production by 2 million barrels a day in light of the world's surging energy crisis.
The US is concerned that OPEC's probable decision to reduce oil production will pose serious problems for the country and may even be interpreted as a hostile act, according to a US Treasury report.
Biden had also tried to convince the organization to increase its oil output in a bid to cool the red-hot energy prices, traveling to Saudi Arabia with hopes of persuading Saudi Arabia to promise to increase its oil output and relieve the pressure on the global supply chain.
However, the price of oil rose even further after he left West Asia without striking a deal with Saudi Arabia on Riyadh pumping out more oil.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir denied all allegations that OPEC+'s decision was directed at the US and stated that its aim was to stabilize the global market amid a slowing economy.
On West Asia, the strategy said Washington would "pursue an affirmative agenda to advance peace and security and to promote prosperity in every region. A more integrated Middle East that empowers our allies and partners will advance regional peace and prosperity, while reducing the resource demands the region makes on the United States over the long term."