Joe Biden is right to be insensitive to Russia and China, but wrong about what to do next

The Biden administration was refreshing and, somewhat surprisingly, direct and candid about Russia and China.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made no punch in the hostile nature of US relations with both authoritarian regimes.

Recently, President Joe Biden said he was still Russia’s influential man Vladimir Putin considered a “murderer” The description he used during the campaign. The reply was “Yes.”

Russia and China are accustomed to harsh discussions by American politicians during the campaign. However, after taking office, Anodyne’s rhetoric was designed so that diplomatic Speak would normally take over and not ruffle its wings or exacerbate the conflict.

China, Russia really see us as a threat

Donald Trump, his foreign policy Randomly thrown rhetorical lightningWas an exception. But Biden was as customary a politician as the United States could produce as president, and was expected to return to diplomatic norms.

Therefore, candid stories from the Biden administration have shocked both Russia and China. China’s highest foreign policy official told Blinken about the shortcomings and evils of American democracy at the first high-level meeting between the two countries since Biden took office, and that was not a model for other parts of the world. I gave a public lecture on how to do it.

War risk: Biden administration needs to become a reality in North Korea

The so-called foreign policy realism school, endorsed by Biden and his team, has always felt the irony of how little realism is.

However, Russia and China on the nature, under Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, seems Biden administration has is clear is sufficiently eyes. They see the US democratic capitalist system as a threat to the legitimacy of dictatorship. They want us to be weakened, divided, less influential, and less valued around the world.

And they promise to make those things happen — although we seem to be doing a lot of it to ourselves these days.

Biden believes a rebuilt alliance is needed

The Biden administration loses its realism and becomes cloudy about international affairs when faced with the question of what to do with it.

As revealed by the administration Provisional National Security Strategy Guidance According to the document, the approach is to rebuild alliances with other democracies as a counter-force to Russia and China. Act through European democracy on Russia and NATO, and act in cooperation with the European Union and the United Kingdom.

What a ridiculous move: Perhaps if the military leaders are silent, public confidence in the military will increase.

For China, a two-tiered approach. We are working on what has become known primarily as the quad, the driving force behind China’s increasingly aggressive regional hegemony, through Australia, India and Japan in addition to the United States. South Korea will join if it can overcome the difference with Japan.

On economic issues related to China, a larger coalition involving European democracies, such as other Asian countries and democracies, is envisioned.

What can you expect from other countries?

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from the right, and Jake Sullivan, a national security adviser from the right, confront Yang Jiechi, the second foreign minister of the Chinese Communist Party, and Wang Yi, the second secretary of state of China from the left. Talk while talking.  The opening session of the US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from the right, Jake Sullivan, the second national security adviser from the right, Yang Jiechi, the second foreign minister of the Chinese Communist Party from the left, and Wang Yi, the second director of the State Council from the left. Speaking at the opening session of the US-China meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at the Captain Cook Hotel in Antony, Alaska.

What is less clear is what the Biden administration wants these refurbished alliances to do. And what’s even less clear is that what you expect from them is realistic.

The United States imposes aggressive sanctions on Russia, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. None of them have changed the behavior of the target regime.

The EU, Canada and Britain have recently joined the United States to impose sanctions on Chinese figures for Uighur oppression. A very safe bet is that these do not change China’s behavior a bit.

With the exception of the small democracy on the Russian border, which was formerly part of the Soviet Union, European countries are no longer afraid of Russian tanks rolling across the border.

China’s neighbors see it as a threat. This is partly a matter of territorial disputes. But even more so for their freedom of action in international and economic relations. They don’t want to get hooked on China’s orbit.

Biden needs to plan limited support

But China is the largest trading partner for most of them. They are tightrope walkers and do not want to explicitly join the US alliance aimed at confronting or containing China.

Democrats in Europe do not see China as a security threat. And the EU has recently signed an investment agreement with China in principle with the aim of increasing capital flow in both directions.

The main purpose of Europe is to increase access to the domestic market of Chinese companies. You wouldn’t be too interested in being part of, or perceived as part of, the US alliance for heeling China.

The Biden administration needs to spend time thinking about what the United States should do with Russia and China, with limited support and cooperation from other countries. Because if we are perfectly realistic, that is where we will end up.

Robert Robb is an editorial columnist at The Arizona Republic. Originally appeared.. Follow him on Twitter: @RJRobb

You can read diverse opinions from us Contribution Committee And other writers Opinion front page, On twitter @usatodayopinion And in us Daily Opinion Newsletter.. To reply to the column, please send a comment to [email protected]

This article was originally published in The Arizona Republic: Biden is right about China and Russia, but wrong about what to do next