Is Biden’s Foreign Policy Team the Best of ‘the Blob’?

Even more worrying is the Biden administration’s approach to China, which sees Beijing primarily as a threat to American global supremacy and thus defines relations with the world’s other superpower in largely zero-sum terms. In a May 26 speech at George Washington University outlining the administration’s China strategy, Mr. Blinken said it could be “summed up in three words”: The United States will “invest” domestically, “align” its policies with those of its allies and “compete” with Beijing. The word “cooperate” was notably absent. Biden officials describe their turn away from…

U.S. Report Describes a Global Retreat on Human Rights

u s report describes a global retreat on human rights

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Tuesday that governments around the world, including in Russia and China, grew more repressive last year, as the State Department released its annual report on global human rights. The department’s 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices echoes President Biden’s warnings that authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. Its introduction cites “continued democratic backsliding on several continents, and creeping authoritarianism that threatens both human rights and democracy — most notably, at present, with Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.” The report…

Biden Will Punish China if It Gives Military Aid to Russia, Blinken Says

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Thursday that the United States would punish China if President Xi Jinping chose to give military aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces have killed thousands of civilians. “We’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine,” Mr. Blinken said at a news conference in Washington. “President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to…

Blinken Says U.S. Has a ‘Long-Term Future’ in the Pacific Islands

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NADI, Fiji — As the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Fiji in 36 years, Antony J. Blinken wanted to make clear that jetting here to meet with Pacific island leaders was just the start of an expanding American presence. “We see our long-term future in the Indo-Pacific,” Mr. Blinken said at a news conference on Saturday night, standing next to Fiji’s acting leader. “It’s as simple and basic as that.” Mr. Blinken said the United States would soon open an embassy in another Pacific nation, the Solomon Islands.…

Blinken, in Indonesia, Stresses Soft Power to Counter China

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — Downplaying direct confrontation between the United States and China, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Tuesday pledged to strengthen relations with Indo-Pacific nations through billions of dollars in American investment and aid and, in doing so, counter Beijing’s regional pull. That soft-power pitch was delivered at Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, the country’s capital, and continued with a series of agreements on maritime cooperation and education and Peace Corps exchanges. The university was also the site of a speech nearly 60 years ago by Robert F. Kennedy,…

U.S. Holocaust Museum Says China ‘May Be Committing Genocide’ Against Uyghurs

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The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum said in a report issued on Tuesday that China had escalated its crimes against the Muslim community of Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and that it was “gravely concerned” that the government “may be committing genocide.” The report, “‘To Make Us Slowly Disappear’: The Chinese Government’s Assault on the Uyghurs,” builds on a March 2020 announcement made by the museum that there was “reasonable basis” to believe that the Chinese government “had perpetrated the crimes against humanity of persecution and of imprisonment” against…

Biden Signs Bill to Compensate ‘Havana Syndrome’ Victims

biden signs bill to compensate havana syndrome victims

President Biden signed into law on Friday a new government program to compensate C.I.A. officers, State Department diplomats and other federal officials who have suffered traumatic neurological injuries that the intelligence community has yet to figure out, launched by assailants it cannot yet identify. With no ceremony and little public comment, Mr. Biden signed the Havana Act, authorizing Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and the C.I.A. director, William J. Burns, to give financial support to employees who have suffered brain injuries. The act is named for what has become…

In Biden’s Foreign Policy, Friends and Foes Claim Echoes of Trump

in bidens foreign policy friends and foes claim echoes of trump

They include Mr. Biden’s continuation of Trump-era trade tariffs, which Democrats roundly denounced before Mr. Biden took office but his officials quickly came to see as a source of leverage in their dealings with China. Similarly, Iranian officials complain bitterly that Mr. Biden has not lifted any of the numerous economic sanctions that Mr. Trump imposed after he withdrew from the nuclear deal. Early in Mr. Biden’s presidency, some European allies urged the administration to lift some of those restrictions as a way to jump-start nuclear talks, but Biden officials…

The Secret Talks Behind the U.S. Deal That France Called a ‘Betrayal’

the secret talks behind the u s deal that france called a betrayal

According to French officials, Mr. Blinken also stayed silent on June 25 when his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, welcomed him back to Paris — where Mr. Blinken spent his high school years — and extolled the importance of the French submarine deal. And as recently as Aug. 30, when the French and Australian defense and foreign ministers held their annual “consultation,” they issued a joint communiqué that said the two countries were committed to deepening cooperation in the defense industry and “underlined the importance of the Future Submarine program.”…