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America may have “returned” in Europe, but how much has changed under Biden?

Falmouth, England — Few images capture the collapse of transatlantic relations better than President Donald J. Trump in 2018. Arms folded around the chest He resisted Chancellor Angela Merkel and other frustrated leaders in a fateful effort to save the summit in Canada.

When the same leader reunited in Cornwall, England on Friday, President Biden Reverse body language and replace deadlocks with hugs. But under the image, it’s not clear how much the United States will be more open to give-and-take with Europe than it was under Mr. Trump.

Transatlantic partnerships have always been less reciprocal than champions prefer to pretend — a marriage in which one partner, the United States, had a nuclear umbrella. Now that China has replaced the Soviet Union as an American archive, the two are less united than they were during the Cold War. This is a geopolitical change that has created long-standing stress among them.

Therefore, the reunion of a group of seven industrialized nations on Friday raises protracted questions. Is this show of solidarity more than a diplomatic pantomime? Reassuring Europeans traumatized by Mr. Trump’s “America First” policy, is the United States under Mr. Biden still on its own path?

“American foreign policy hasn’t changed radically,” said Tom Tugendart, chairman of the British Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee. “It’s more collaborative and inclusive, but it’s virtually the same.”

“Like all leaders,” he added. “Biden puts his country first. How he achieved it has distracted many.”

There are few European questions Honesty in his outreach.. More than his former boss Barack Obama, Biden is an Atlanticist and has been involved in European concerns from the Balkans to Belfast for decades.

On Thursday he announced that he would join Prime Minister Boris Johnson. New Atlantic CharterModeled after the post-WWII blueprint signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

At their first face-to-face meeting, Biden and Johnson predicted unity, each promising that his country would promise developing countries hundreds of millions of vaccinations.

“I’m not going to challenge the president about that or anything else,” said Johnson, after both Mr Biden and the newlywed Prime Minister said they were “married on our station.”

Nevertheless, the president took a more aggressive approach to China, the protagonist of his foreign policy. U.S. officials have sought European support for the effort, but analysts have shown the commercial interests of Germany and other countries and Chancellor Merkel and other Europeans unwilling to fight the new Cold War with Beijing. Given the fact, they said their expectations were limited.

He worked for the State Department during the Obama administration and is now the European Foreign Relations Commission in London.

“US policy towards Europe is not a problem,” Shapiro said, summarizing the administration’s general view. “We are going to get the same amount from them in China.”

Skepticism runs in both directions. Many European officials have said Biden’s declaration that “America is back”, given Mr. Trump’s iron domination over the Republicans, given the assault on the US Capitol and other threats to American democracy. Needless to say, I’m looking at it with a mean eye. ..

“We live in an era of lost trust,” said Wolfgang Isinger, a former German ambassador to the United States who runs the Munich Security Conference, where Biden speaks regularly.

He said the Germans believed that whether the president was a Democrat or a Republican was less important to the transatlantic alliance. “I’m facing new questions about what happens when the resurrected Trump reappears on stage for the first time in 70 years,” said Isinger.

White House officials have carefully choreographed Mr. Biden’s trip into a summer festival of alliance restoration. But back in Washington, analysts say the transfer shows a more marginalized role for Europe.

The White House has nominated prominent officials at the National Security Council to coordinate Indo-Pacific and Middle East policies. There is no European equivalent, and the administration has never made a diplomatic appointment like the NATO ambassador or the envoy dealing with Northern Ireland.

Biden welcomed Japanese and South Korean leaders at the White House, but no major European leaders yet.

Senior American Diplomat on the eve of his visit to Britain Expressing frank concerns Mr Johnson, Head of Brexit Negotiations, talks about how Britain was dealing with tensions over post-Brexit trade agreements in Northern Ireland.

Even if Mr Biden plans to meet President Vladimir Putin in Geneva next week, both sides have similar limited expectations for Russia. Relations between Washington and Moscow deteriorated rapidly as the United States faced Russia’s hacking operations, with evidence of continued Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election and Mr Putin rallying troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Russia’s arrest of opposition leader Alexei A. Navalny three days before Mr. Biden’s inauguration has tended to increase tensions.

Far from the “reset button” Biden made a famous announcement in 2009 While serving as Obama’s vice president, his meeting with Putin seems to be designed primarily to hide tensions with Russia, which is habitually painstaking.

Given that what analysts say is Putin’s calculation that Russia will benefit from spreading instability, they wonder how successful Biden will be. Europe’s proximity to Russia and Germany’s reliance on natural gas mean that instability poses a greater threat to Europe than the United States.

“The problem with China is that it’s not our neighbor, but our neighbor,” said Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, a London think tank. “Russia is a neighbor of Europe, and its reality complicates it, but only to the extent that the United States wants to raise temperatures.”

The administration’s zigzag course on Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, has plagued some people in Europe. Mr Biden openly opposed the pipeline as a “bad idea,” said Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. However, Blinken recently refused to impose sanctions on the people behind the $ 11 billion project, saying the completion was “de facto obedience.”

Biden’s eve of the European tour seemed to have been calculated to avoid a rift with his key ally, Germany. But in Britain, which has a stricter policy towards Russia than Germany, some officials are worried that the decision could make Putin bold and undermine Ukraine’s eastern border. He said he was.

The transatlantic difference to China is important, but officials on both sides say Europe is slowly moving in the direction of Mr Biden. The European Parliament last month postponed ratification of a groundbreaking investment agreement between Brussels and Beijing. This was after Beijing sanctioned 10 European Union politicians, which Europeans saw as an over-response to the sanctions imposed on China for the detention of Uighur minorities in the New River. I did it.

The UK is working with the United States in China to restrict access to China’s telecommunications giant Huawei’s 5G network. But analysts warn that the shift is motivated by a change of heart towards Beijing, rather than the desire to keep pace with its most important allies after Brexit.

Some Europeans argue that Mr. Biden’s Chinese policy has not yet been fully formed, and there is no shortage of diplomatic pantomime at a storm meeting held by Chinese officials and Mr. Blinken in Alaska in March. Said that.

European views could also develop after 16 years in office, with Merkel, who firmly believes in China’s involvement, resigning and French President Emmanuel Macron facing a difficult campaign next year.

“As a result of human rights issues, the EU’s position on China has solidified,” said Simon Fraser, a former chief civil servant of the UK Foreign Ministry. “Even if there are differences in national interests, I think they have a lot in common.”

Still, some Europeans were postponed because Mr. Biden cast a competition with China from a very idealistic point of view as a fateful battle between democracy and dictatorship.

For leaders like Merkel, who sell millions of Volkswagen and BMW in China, this relationship is driven by trade and technology rather than a potential military clash in the South China Sea.

Thomas Wright, director of the European and US centers at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said: “Some Europeans believe that the United States is nostalgic for the Cold War and is ready to return to the Cold War.”

Of course, these were in the early days of Mr Biden’s presidency. Analysts, when Xi Jinping Jintao of China told the parliament as “in the 21st century can not be to compete with the dictatorship,” said a message on China and Russia from 2 months ago has already been re-adjusted.

Professor Charles A. Kupchan of Georgetown University, who worked on European issues under the Obama administration, said Biden’s goal was to prevent the creation of a China-Russia block against the West. That requires the help of allies, which is why Mr. Biden predicted that he would not only hear the Europeans, but would.

“This attempt to find geopolitical boundaries does not find much support among American allies,” Kupchan said.

Biden looks sensitive to these concerns. In a Washington Post editorial column last Sunday, he outlined his travel goals and omitted a combative reference to dictatorial China. Instead, he wrote about whether the United States and its allies could face a fairly heretical challenge: “Democracy gathering to bring real results to our people in a rapidly changing world. Can you do it? “

America may have “returned” in Europe, but how much has changed under Biden?

Source link America may have “returned” in Europe, but how much has changed under Biden?

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