President Joe Biden targeted China and Russia and vowed to regain America’s “moral high ground” in his first major address on his administration’s foreign policy goals Thursday.
Biden delivered the speech Thursday from the State Department, arguing that his administration will no longer “roll over” for Russia and will hold China accountable for its human rights and economic abuses. Biden argued President Donald Trump’s administration had caused America to forfeit its moral high ground on the global stage. He said he plans to regain that high ground with an executive order increasing the number of global refugees the U.S. can accept to 125,000 per year and by advocating for LGBT people internationally. (RELATED: Biden Freezes Trump’s Troop Withdrawal From Germany, Orders ‘Global Review’ Of Military)
President Biden says that the days of the US “rolling over” in the face of Russian electoral interference are “over.” He adds, “We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interest for our people.”
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) February 4, 2021
Biden referenced Russia’s efforts to “damage and disrupt our democracy” and China’s “growing ambitions” as areas of challenge. He also alluded to 1/6 violence. American values “have come under intense pressure in recent years, even pushed to the brink in the last few weeks.”
— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) February 4, 2021
“Over the past two weeks, I’ve spoken with the leaders of many of our closest friends — Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Australia — to begin re-forming the habits of cooperation and rebuilding the muscles of democratic alliances that have atrophied from four years of neglect and abuse,” Biden said.
“America’s alliances are among our greatest assets. And leading with diplomacy means standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key partners once more. But leading with diplomacy must also mean engaging our adversaries and our competitors diplomatically where it is in our interest and advances the security of the American people,” he added.
Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken have repeatedly emphasized the importance of shoring up America’s relationships with our allies, which they argue fell into disrepair under Trump. Biden called China America’s “biggest competitor” on the global stage, calling out the communist regime’s abuse of human rights and its global ambitions.
Biden also said his administration will prioritize fighting climate change internationally. Biden brought the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement on his first day in office, an international treaty that includes the world’s top carbon emitter, China.