China, Iran … the Biden administration draws the contours of its future diplomacy

A the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration, his future ministers on Tuesday January 19 displayed their firmness against China and Iran to silence accusations of weakness, while promising to break with Donald’s unilateralist diplomacy Trump. “We can win the competition with China”: the next US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the colors at the start of the process of confirmation, by the Senate, of the members appointed by the elected President of the United States to join his government.

Picking up rhetoric dear to the Trump administration, he described the rival superpower as the country that poses “the greatest challenge” to America. Above all, he acknowledged that the outgoing Republican president, who rarely finds favor in the eyes of Democrats, had “been right to take a firmer stance against China.”

On the eve of leaving the White House, Donald Trump was surely able to appreciate this satisfaction, he who put forward his strategy against Beijing. “We have revitalized our alliances and united the nations of the world to face China like never before,” said the billionaire during a farewell speech broadcast by the White House.

READ ALSOTeam Biden: Antony Blinken, the friend of France

The Democratic team ensures that it will be able to stand up to Beijing

The United States is engaged in a merciless confrontation with the Asian giant, to which the hawk Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State until Wednesday, gave the appearance of a new Cold War. And the American conservatives have multiplied the weak trials against Joe Biden, accused of being part of this ruling class which has too long hoped to see globalization favor Chinese democratization. Faced with these criticisms, the Democratic team ensures that it will be able to stand up to Beijing.

Antony Blinken said he shared the accusation of “genocide” perpetrated by China against Uyghur Muslims, made public Tuesday by Mike Pompeo. “We must tackle the abusive, unfair and illegal practices of China” in commercial matters, hammered for her part the future Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.

We have to face ChinaAntony Blink

As for the next director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, she admitted in hollow that the Democrats had not been firm enough under the administration of Barack Obama, of which Joe Biden was the vice-president, from 2009 to 2017. ” I am in favor of an aggressive stance “to” respond to the reality of a more assertive and aggressive China, “she said.

However, Antony Blinken has promised a diplomacy opposite to that of Donald Trump, who jostled his allies, flirted with autocrats, broke international conventions and scorned multilateral circles. “We must face China from a position of strength, not of weakness,” he pleaded, assuring that this involved “working with the allies instead of denigrating them, participating in and leading international institutions rather than disengage from it ”.

“If Iran gets back on track” …

With regard to Iran, if Joe Biden clearly wants to resume dialogue, his future Minister of Foreign Affairs wanted to reassure the many senators, Republicans but also Democrats, who have expressed their concern. The elected president wants to quickly return to the 2015 international agreement on Iranian nuclear power, the door of which Donald Trump slammed, deeming it insufficient to contain Tehran. Antony Blinken confirmed this line, “if Iran gets back to the nails” of its nuclear commitments from which it is freeing itself a little more every day.

He estimated that the exit from this agreement, denounced with constancy by the European allies of Washington, had reinforced the Iranian nuclear threat, making Tehran “more dangerous”. But he also promised to use the return to the 2015 pact “as a starting point, with our allies and partners who would again be on the same side as us, to seek a stronger and more lasting agreement”. This should include Iran’s ballistic missile program as well as its “destabilizing activities” in the Middle East.

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The promise to “reinvigorate” the “fundamental alliances”

Beyond specific issues, Antony Blinken promised to “reinvigorate” the “fundamental alliances” of the United States to bring them back to the “front line” on the international scene. “American leadership still matters,” he said. “Together, we are in a much better position to counter threats posed by Russia, Iran and North Korea and to defend democracy and human rights. “

To set this “return” of America to music, Joe Biden will bring Washington back to the White House on Wednesday in the Paris climate agreement. And Antony Blinken has confirmed that he will try to negotiate with Russia an extension of the key disarmament treaty of their New Start nuclear arsenals which expires on February 5, one of the Democratic administration’s very first diplomatic tests.

“Preserving the gains” in Afghanistan

The future US Secretary of State has also announced his intention to re-examine the agreement signed in February by the United States and the Taliban, affirming that he wants to maintain in Afghanistan the means to fight terrorism. “We want the end of this eternal war, we want to bring our forces home,” he told the Senate.

The outgoing Donald Trump administration has struck a landmark deal with the Taliban after 19 years of war, which calls for the total withdrawal of US forces by mid-2021 in exchange for the insurgents’ pledge not to leave terrorist groups act from areas they control. The agreement also provided for the launch of the first direct peace negotiations between the Taliban and the authorities in Kabul, which began in September but have not yet produced concrete results, particularly in terms of reducing violence.

READ ALSOThe Parisian youth of the future US Secretary of State

“We have to look carefully at what has been negotiated, I have not yet heard of everything,” explained Antony Blinken. He added that he wanted to “fully understand what commitments have been made or not by the Taliban”. In particular, he deemed it essential to “preserve the advances that have been made for women and girls in Afghanistan over the past 20 years”. Above all, the next American Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed that his government intended “to maintain a certain capacity to face any resurgence of terrorism, which is what originally made us intervene” after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Jerusalem will remain recognized as the capital of Israel

US President-elect Joe Biden believes the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “the two-state solution”, but will not back down on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, his future minister said on Tuesday. of Foreign Affairs Antony Blinken. “The president agrees with me that the best way, perhaps the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a democratic Jewish state, and to give the Palestinians the state to which they are entitled, is the solution said to two states, ”he said. Before the American senators, however, he admitted that such a solution was not “realistic” in the “short term”, calling immediately on Israelis and Palestinians to “avoid unilateral measures which make it even more complex”.

Antony Blinken also promised to “immediately review” the classification of the Houthi rebels of Yemen as “terrorist organization”, decided by his predecessor Mike Pompeo despite fears of worsening humanitarian crisis. “We will propose to review this immediately to make sure that what we are doing does not hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid,” he told the US senators called to confirm his appointment. The blacklisting announced by the outgoing Republican administration of Donald Trump went into effect Tuesday and elected Democrats have already called on President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the classification of the Houthis as “terrorists.”

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