American writer Josh Rogin says that President Joe Biden made a mistake by choosing him. Instead of reinforcing the message that America’s allies in Asia can count on Washington, he sent a counter-message by withdrawing from visiting two vital stations there at the last minute.
The author described in article According to the Washington Post, this is a fatal short-sighted mistake that Beijing will certainly exploit when it approaches America’s allies and partners in Asia.
Rogen explained that Biden, shortly after his arrival in Tokyo to attend the G7 summit last Thursday, announced US national security spokesman John Kirby, reiterating Washington’s approach to Asian countries that are concerned about China’s expansionist policies in the Indo-Pacific region, but question US commitments. . He said coordinating competition with China and responding to China’s military and economic aggression would be “key to the agenda” in Japan.
Words not supported by actions
He pointed out that Kirby said that Washington does not ask countries to choose between America and China, but rather will show in practice that it is a reliable and stable partner in this part of the world, and it also gives people alternatives to coercion and intimidation from the Chinese.
Rogen commented that this approach is completely logical, but unfortunately it cannot be understood with Biden’s decision last Wednesday to cancel his long-planned visits to Australia and Papua New Guinea, as the cancellation was seen in Australia as a disdain and a political imbalance that causes real harm to the foreign policy of the United States. , and gives Beijing an easy victory.
He added, “As for the harm of canceling his visit to Papua New Guinea, it is quite clear, as he was scheduled to meet with members of the Pacific Islands Forum, a union of 10 countries that coordinates economic and security policy in the Pacific Ocean, and this was the first time that an American president visited Papua Guinea.” New, which is a country of strategic importance that China cares deeply about.
He added that the justification for cancellation, which is the need to return to America to pursue debt ceiling negotiations, is not convincing, and that President Biden will be better off politically when he shows his ability to assert US leadership in Asia and respond to China, while also remaining involved in debt talks.
The writer recalled that there is a long list of occasions in which US presidents canceled their visits to Asia due to domestic politics, as President George Bush Jr., Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (twice) withdrew from diplomatic trips to Asia due to political “emergencies”, and That President Donald Trump planned badly to skip a major summit in the Philippines in 2017 to come home early for no reason at all, only to acquiesce later and go to the summit site, only to leave because the meeting started late.
Chinese aid and American neglect
In 2018, Rogen says he accompanied Mike Pence, then US Vice President, to Papua New Guinea to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, and witnessed the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping a week before the start of the summit on an extended state visit, and to celebrate the opening of a new highway in the capital, Port. Moresby, leads to the new Parliament House, both (the road and Parliament House) built as a gift from China, and he also met many Pacific Islands Forum leaders.
Since then, he said, Beijing has expanded its military, diplomatic and economic relations with the Pacific island nations, taking advantage of the US neglect of those countries.