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Joe Biden’s foreign policy vision from his own writings and what it means for India & Modi

In episode 613 of ‘Cut The Clutter’, ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta talks about what Biden’s foreign policy might be and the pivotal role of China.

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New Delhi: After a tumultuous few days of counting in what proved to be a close call between incumbent US President Donald Trump and Democractic candidate Joe Biden, a clear picture has finally emerged — the former vice-president has just about emerged the victor.

In episode 613 of ‘Cut The Clutter‘, ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta talks about what Biden’s foreign policy might be and what it may mean for India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Quoting extensively from Biden’s longform in the April-March issue of Foreign Affairs where he lays out his vision of what America’s foreign policy might be under his administration, Gupta explains that the President elect’s “why America must lead again” point is very important. “It was said that Obama has moved to an idea of leading from behind,” Gupta says, which was preceded by the backlash the US faced against George Bush’s interventionism around the world.

“Then came Trump whose idea was to leave everything behind,” Gupta says, explaining how America became very insular. According to him, Biden’s view is more internationalist in that he wants to take the US back into global affairs, firstly by rejoining the Paris Agreement.

Gupta picks up a handful of points from Biden’s longform and analyses those. Citing the article, he quotes Biden, “By every measure credibility and influence of the US in the world has diminished since Barack Obama and I demitted office.”

Gupta also notes that Biden had accused Trump of emboldening the US’s adversaries and squandering the country’s leverage to confront national security challenges from North Korea to Iran, Syria to Afghanistan to Venezuela, with practically nothing to show for it.

The second point Gupta focuses on is Biden’s statements on democracy which the latter wrote was “paralysed by hyper partisanship, hobbled by corruption, weighed down by extreme inequality”. According to Biden, the impact of all this has led to democracies struggling to deliver as people’s trust in institutions has diminished.

Gupta also points out that Biden has a plan to hold a summit for global democracies in his first year, adding that he is “shifting American foreign policy from, say, trade and American economy and that kind of internalism to a kind of democratise globalism”.

Biden also promised the reversal of protectionism, citing how the last time this happened — after World War I — it led to World War II. “This is a very strong reversal of the way Trump ran his political economy,” Gupta says.

Also read: Airlines, cannabis, insurance, Hollywood — What’s ahead under Biden, industry by industry

Getting tough with China

Gupta then addresses Biden’s vow to “get tough with China”.

“He (Biden) says you have to put a united front of United States allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviour and human rights violations,” Gupta says, explaining how if all countries ally and confront China, that will constitute 50 per cent of the world’s GDP. “China is a country that wants to rise on the strength of its economy and its trade, there is no way China can tread lightly on a block that represents a half of the world’s GDP,” Gupta adds.

Gupta further says that Biden in his piece also talks about the need to repair ties with NATO, using very strong words against Putin — “weakening of NATO that has allowed Vladimir Putin to carry on with this kleptocratic authoritarian regime.” The only time India is mentioned, Gupta says, is when Biden writes, “I will strengthen treaty alliances with Australia, Japan, and South Korea and deepening partnerships, from India to Indonesia, to advance shared values.”

Gupta concludes by noting that don’t look at what a Biden administration does with India, the important thing will be to see how the Biden administration deals with China. “The US-India relationship has now been de-hyphenated from Pakistan, but hyphenated with China,” Gupta says, adding that Biden will not be like Trump in ignoring all that is happening inside India. If the summit of global democracies does take place and Narendra Modi is invited — it will be interesting to see him do so in the background of the CAA-NRC amid the upcoming West Bengal elections, Gupta says.

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  1. What Biden wrote in March-April issue of Foreign Affairs may change in future. Rather attention should be paid to the Democratic Party platform released in August. According to Bloomberg the party platform approved during Democratic National Convention calls for avoiding any harsh measures against China. Biden may not change Trump’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, but he would play down the military component of America’s engagement in Asia. The party platform calls for countering China “without resorting to self-defeating, unilateral tariff wars or falling into the trap of a new Cold War.” America’s European NATO allies, alienated by Trump, now want to go their own ways, rather than rely on America’s leadership, and they also don’t want to strain their lucrative trading relationship with China because of the US -China rivalry. A lot has changed. Before there the question was whether the US would come to defend and protect its allies. NOW THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE US CAN DEFEND AND PROTECT ITS ALLIES!

  2. First Joe Biden has to secure his presidency challenge by Trumps in court. If Trumps has proven its rigged, Biden-Kamala Jewish axis is be criminalized, Trumps-Ivanka-Jared Jewish axis will be anointed. Whoever lost the long legal struggle will be persecuted.

    Even with smooth power handover, 10wks of power transition until Jan’2021 is golden window with enough time for China to recapture all its lost lands in Ladakh & South Tibet. Pak will also took entire J&K, Nepal took back its Darjeeling…, Sikkim regain independent, Bhutan get rid of IA occupation, Myanmar assist its freedom fighter kins to regain India occupied lands of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, …Nicobar, Adaman islands, etc.

    The 6mths bitter coldest winter in 60yrs will lockup 200,000 poorly equipped IA in Ladakh without sufficient fuel & food stockpile. China drones can also easily pluck out their fuel storages.

    China overwhelming fire power and high tech warfare will capture South Tibet (Anurachal) quickly, and strangle India chicken neck in NE, cutting off supply route. This will allow PLA & Myanmar backed freedom fighters to liberate all 7 NE states swiftly.

    Powerful PLAN and Myanmar navy will also captured Nicobar & Adaman islands occupied by East India Company from Myanmar.

    With PLA air & drones support, Pak army can over run IA in J&K swiftly and decisively.

    Devastated and defeated IA will retreat to defend Delhi last line against PLA & Pak, not able to continue occupy Nepal, Sikkim & Bhutan lands.

    US embroiled in internal power struggle will not able to interven. Btw, US has never fight a war with powerful country after WWII, let alone risk fighting superpower China for India. Russia will gladly take neutral stand after India signed BECA.

    Surrounded by China, Pak,Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and rebel forces, India will be forced to give up its ambitious Chanakya expansionism and return all occupied lands to neighbors. Many states like Tamil Nadu, Bihar, …will take opportunity to break off from Delhi control, aka Nehru’s forced India Union.

    Delhi will remain the only “India Union” state inheriting all overseas property, with its elites splitting $550Bils reserve happily to agree India disintegration.

    • “Joe Biden has to secure his presidency challenge by Trumps in court” – That would be a probllem. The election processes wre very transparnt, and were very efficiently carried out. The problem is with Trump, who is such a coward =that he can’t take defeat! Very bad loser! His compliants in the courts have no substrance, he doesn’t have any evidence of a fraud in election loreccess. Like he has been LYING all his first year of 4 years, and accusing government agencies, he is now blaming election processes with out any evidence! His aides and EVEN FAMILY MEMBERS, INCLIDOING HIS VERY PWN WIFE MELANIA AND HIS DAUGHTER IVANKA, ARE NOW TELLING HIN TO CONCEDE THE DEFEAT GRACIOUSLY! BUT THE GUY HAS NEVER IN HIS LIFE KNOWN WHAT IS GRACE!

    • Paki stooge!! You forgot that Mosques are still converted into #CCP Chinese toilets before you started your Islamist diarrhea!!

    • Wow. What a great bedtime story! wait are you living in this planet or are you alien from some other Galaxy. Do tell. Really want to see an alien. And if you aren’t an 👽, you really need to go for a check up in some mental hospital. You are mentally unstable and risk to your self and people around you. Get well soon

  3. A passing reference to India, bracketed with Indonesia … The simple truth is that the Biden administration will size us up, not in the transactional way of Trump, selling a few Apache helicopters, but how far we are living up to say what the Bush – Rice team had expected. Trump did us no good and Biden will do us no harm. India’s place in the world is generated at home, and it is meticulously reported in the global media. 2. China is what – most of all – made India and America natural allies. It lies within President Xi’s power to roll back those aspects of China’s behaviour abroad – what it does domestically is less important – which have so riled Asia. We are relying too much on an assumption that the US – China relationship is broken beyond repair. That America will share our implacable hostility and help us in our confrontation. China is important to the world in a positive sense as well. If that aspect becomes more salient to the US, we would be in trouble. EAM will have some awkward moments in Washington as well.

    • You think and write like a journalist adept at writing opinion pieces; have no real understanding, truly and honestly.

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