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Biden lays out anti-China agenda at G7 summit, calls on Johnson for Brexit

 Biden lays out anti-China agenda at G7 summit, calls on Johnson for Brexit

This weekend's G7 summit in the UK will be dominated by attempts by US President Joe Biden to consolidate an anti-China axis.

In a Washington Post article published last Saturday, Joe Biden said his mission is to ensure that the United States and its allies "and not China or whoever else is writing the rules of the 21st century. in trade and technology ”. His comments echo his speech to Congress last April, when he said, to a standing ovation, "We are competing with China and other countries to win the 21st century." On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a $ 250 billion "China Competitiveness Bill" in anticipation of escalating trade and military disputes.

Biden lays out anti-China agenda at G7 summit, calls on Johnson for Brexit
US President Joe Biden, left, chats with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as they meet ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Britain on Thursday June 10, 2021 (Toby Melville / Pool Photo via AP )

Securing the support of the European powers is the key to this strategy. In an opinion piece published by Bloomberg, former NATO chief and US Navy Admiral James Stavridis explains: “Only Europe has the people, the geography, the values ​​and above all the economic clout to respond. to the needs of the United States in terms of a credible counterweight in this new pas de deux of the Cold War… ”

"It is only in Europe that the United States can find the confluence of values, economy, military capability and technology on the scale necessary to face the Chinese threat."

Biden, a 50-year veteran of politics, refines Trump's frantic and transactional anti-China policies into a long-term strategy, dragging the allies into a new "cold war" that will be presented, as before, as a struggle for freedom from authoritarianism.

In his first speech as US President in the UK at RAF Mildenhall US Air Force Base, Biden said, “We are going to make it clear that the United States is back and that democracies around the world stand together. … That we are determined to lead with strength ”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited Australia, South Korea and India to the summit to push this agenda forward, foreshadowing proposals for an enlarged “D-10” group of ten “market democracies”.

Political commentators have placed great emphasis on the distance between the United States and Europe and the Chinese question. The European powers have their own economic and strategic interests which they will not willingly sacrifice for the sole benefit of American imperialism. Last year, China overtook the US as the EU's largest trading partner and is the UK's largest import market and Germany's largest export market.

But the path to a more militant anti-China stance is clear. France, Germany and the UK have sent warships to participate in US provocations in the South China Sea. The EU has put a major investment deal with China on hold after an exchange of sanctions on the Uyghur issue.

The G7 summit will build on these foundations. The leaked draft statement not only urges signatories to take action against Beijing for the treatment of Uyghurs. It focuses on calls for a new World Health Organization investigation into the origins of Covid-19, promoting the noxious lie that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

On Thursday, the EU signaled its support for this toxic war propaganda, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen saying: “Investigators must have full access to whatever is necessary to actually find the source of this pandemic. ”

Biden will also push for a G7-led infrastructure investment plan to block China's Belt and Road initiative. At next week's US-EU summit, Biden and his European counterparts will discuss plans to create a US-EU trade and technology council whose goal will be to "strengthen coordination on 5G, semiconductors, supply chains, export controls and technology rules and standards, ”according to the Financial Times . This council will establish a framework that allows members to pursue their competing economic ambitions while jointly opposing China.

The UK and US have announced a related 'Atlantic Charter', which defines eight areas of cooperation, including collective security, defending democracy, combating cyber attacks and strengthening a fair trading system. . A British official told the FT: "It is not unreasonable to infer that China is being targeted here."

These agreements are underpinned by bellicose militarism. In his address to American troops stationed in the UK, Biden told them, "You are the strong backbone of America around which alliances are built and strengthened." He added that the “only truly sacred obligation” of the United States was to “prepare and equip” its armed forces.

On Monday, Biden will attend the NATO summit in Brussels to fulfill this obligation and develop the alliance's war plans against China. In a meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said the organization was "stepping up its response to growing global competition", blaming Russia and the United Nations. China to "lead an authoritarian withdrawal from the rules-based international order."

While threats to Russia have to some extent been put aside so that Biden can focus on building the anti-China alliance, the president reminded Moscow of his place on the agenda. American imperialism. To cheers and applause, he said in his Mildenhall speech that he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday "to let him know what I want him to know ... The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities ”.

The draft G7 communiqué calls on Russia to tackle cybercrime groups within its borders.

Johnson's hopes of using Britain's hosting of the summit as a way to reaffirm the UK's position on the world stage after Brexit were dashed even before the event began. While Trump has welcomed Brexit, on the basis of his "America First" agenda which sought to break up the European Union (EU), Biden considers the "special relationship" between the United States and the Great -Brittany is only useful if Britain can carry out American diktats in Europe.

Before Biden even landed, he and his top officials blasted Britain for its current split with the EU over the Northern Irish border. Speaking at a BBC press briefing aboard Air Force One, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said: “The United States will not welcome any measure that endangers or undermines the Good Friday agreement ”.

The 1998 Good Friday deal, brokered by Tony Blair's Labor government and Bill Clinton's Democratic Party government, ended a three-decade armed conflict in Northern Ireland in order to create a more stable economic environment for business investment in the North.

Sullivan added: "The president did not issue any threats or ultimatum […]", but "the agreement must be protected".

Sullivan's comments follow a meeting between US Chargé d'Affaires Yael Lempert and UK Brexit negotiator Lord Frost, during which Lempert demanded a negotiated settlement with the EU. According to the Times , “Yael Lempert, the top American diplomat in Britain, told [British Brexit negotiator] Lord Frost… that the government is 'fueling' tensions in Ireland and Europe by opposing controls in the ports of the province ”.

Lempert was instructed to address a demarche, a formal diplomatic reprimand to London, which open allies hardly ever resort to. The Times reports that during a meeting on June 3, "Frost was made aware of Biden's' great concern 'about his position during a tense meeting in which Lempert allegedly' slowly and gravely read his instructions. Washington] aloud ””.

The interventions by the Biden government have been timed to support the European Union, which is seeking concessions from Britain in the heated talks over Northern Ireland.

Brussels has vowed to retaliate with trade sanctions if Johnson unilaterally suspends parts of the Northern Ireland protocol, which makes the creation of a strict border on the island of Ireland unnecessary. On June 30, the EU plans to ban the export of chilled meats from Britain to Northern Ireland via the Irish Sea. Britain has threatened to unilaterally extend the grace period - which had been granted to companies to adapt to the new rules - which imposes controls on the export of chilled meats.

The two sides failed to come to an agreement in two meetings held on Wednesday. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: “Should the UK take further unilateral steps in the coming weeks, the EU will not hesitate to react swiftly, firmly and decisively in order to 'ensure that the United Kingdom respects its obligations under international law'.

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