Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
November 6, 2022
The US midterm election on November 8th will not be kind to Biden and Democratics. So far, Biden as the President of the US, he has not been able to unite the nation. Not only the partisan politics are more divisive than ever, but his Democratic party is also divided. His popularity level in the US is around 40%. As a lame duck President after the midterm election, Biden will not be able to “assert America’s global leadership” in any shape or form soon. A major shortcoming of Biden’s Presidency is lacking focus as well as loose messaging. Both are signs of very weak leadership.
We hope Biden is sincere “that the U.S. was willing to work with all nations — no matter their systems of government — to effect change.” If so, there is no reason to single out China as the most challenging threat for the USA so China should be contained.
At global summits, Biden aims to assert America’s leadership
ZEKE MILLER and SEUNG MIN KIM Sun, November 6, 2022 at 5:24 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will aim to assert America’s global leadership during his upcoming trip to Southeast Asia that will be shadowed by a verdict on his presidency after Tuesday’s elections.
The foreign policy challenges that have helped define Biden’s first two years in office -– Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increasing influence of China -– will be on full display at a pair of summits in the region. Biden is preparing for a potential one-on-one meeting with a newly empowered Xi Jinping, who last month won an custom-shattering third term as China’s Community Party leader.
Biden will also be confronted by global economic challenges at the Group of 20 summit, an annual gathering of leaders from the world’s largest economies. He also will try to assure the nearly dozen countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that the United States is invested in the region at a time when China is also stepping up its influence.
KEEPING THE PRESSURE ON RUSSIA
More than eight months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden is facing new challenges in his efforts to isolate Moscow. Elevated energy and food prices, and concerns in Europe about supplies of those vital commodities heading into the winter are testing global resolve to support Ukraine’s defense and punish Russia’s aggression.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not made public whether he plans to participate in the summit. Biden has said he has no plans to meet with Putin, but left the door open to a conversation if Putin wants to discuss a deal to free Americans imprisoned in Russia.
NAVIGATING THE AUTOCRATS
Biden has spoken of a global struggle between autocracies and democracies. But increasingly he is having to rely on less-democratic leaders to further U.S. interests, from Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who is hosting the climate conference, to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has resisted U.S. pleas to curtail purchases of Russian oil.
Biden used his remarks at the United Nations in September to emphasize that the U.S. was willing to work with all nations — no matter their systems of government — to effect change.
“The United Nations Charter was not only signed by democracies of the world, it was negotiated among citizens of dozens of nations with vastly different histories and ideologies, united in their commitment to work for peace,” Biden said at the time.
American voters on Tuesday will deliver a verdict on Biden’s governance and two years of Democratic control of Washington. It’s not clear how quickly control of the House and Senate will be known after Election Day. The White House has persistently sought to frame the midterms as a choice between dueling visions for the nation, rather than a referendum on Biden’s time in office.
A MEETING WITH XI?
U.S. and Chinese officials are working out the logistics of such a meeting between the two leaders, which would be the first such in person during Biden’s presidency. It could come at time when Biden may have been politically punished by U.S. voters while Xi consolidated his power during the Communist Party congress that concluded last month.
If a meeting happens, there will be no shortage of topics for Biden to raise with China, which the U.S. government now says is its most potent military and economic rival.
Tensions have been rising between the two nations over Taiwan, particularly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in August to the self-governing island and Biden’s repeated remarks that the U.S. would militarily defend Taiwan if attacked by China – comments his aides have repeatedly walked back.
The matter of Trump-era trade penalties on Chinese goods also remains on the table. Biden is also likely to raise the issue of human rights abuses, particularly against the Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. China has also refrained from publicly taking Russia to task over Ukraine, although Putin said Xi privately relayed “concern and questions” about the invasion when the two met in Uzbekistan in September.
But “it’s not going to change the fact that we continue to want to make sure we’re in the best position we can to compete strategically with China and to confront the threats and challenges that China very physically, very tangibly represents –- particularly in the Indo-Pacific region,” Kirby added.
KEEPING UP THE MOMENTUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE
At the climate conference, Biden will spotlight one of his key domestic successes — Democrats’ massive health care and climate change bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
The U.S. commitment of some $375 billion over a decade to fight climate change gives Biden greater leverage to press other nations to make good on their pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition the global economy toward cleaner energy sources.
That summit resulted in additional global commitments to meet the temperature targets agreed to in the Paris Climate Accord, which Biden rejoined after then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. from the deal. But even with the new U.S. law, America and the world have a long way to go to meet emissions targets that scientists hope will contain global warming. And the political will for more investment — as the global economy faces new headwinds — is shrinking.
Global eagerness for shifting away from fossil fuels has been tempered by the roiling of world energy markets after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden is pressing oil and gas producers to boost production to meet demand and bring down prices that have funded the Kremlin’s war effort.
One US reader’s comment:
There is not a single country that looks to the US as leader globally, that is patently clear with all the turmoil going on and we’re just a bank note to them. Leadership isn’t money.