At global summits, Biden wants to maintain America’s leadership role

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will aim to maintain America’s global leadership during his tenure forthcoming trip to Southeast Asia that will be overshadowed by a verdict on his presidency afterwards elections on Tuesday.

The foreign policy challenges that helped define Biden’s first two years in office – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increasing influence of China -– will be fully exhibited at two peaks in the region. Biden is gearing up for a potential one-on-one meeting with a newly empowered Xi Jinping, who won a custom-shattering third term as leader of the Chinese Community Party last month.

Biden will also be confronted with global economic challenges Group of 20 peaks, an annual gathering of leaders from the world’s largest economies. He will also try to insure the nearly dozen countries that are part of the Community of Southeast Asian States that the United States is investing in the region while China is also increasing its influence.

The ASEAN Summit takes place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Bali, Indonesia is the site of the G-20 summit.

Before that, Biden will stop in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt UN climate conference, known as COP27. not how last year’s conference In Glasgow, Scotland, at this year’s Assembly the President will be able to point to significant achievements at home with the signing of the law in August that will deliver the results largest investment in US history to combat climate change.

A look at the big issues that will dominate Bidens seven day trip. The first stop is in Egypt on Friday.


More than eight months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Biden faces new challenges in his efforts to isolate Moscow. Elevated energy and food prices, and concerns in Europe about supplies of these vital commodities heading into winter, are testing global resolve to help defend Ukraine and punish Russia’s aggression.

At the G-20 summit, Biden will have his first opportunity to meet with two key new partners in this effort: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Sunak, who took office last month after Liz Truss’ disastrously short tenure, has pledged to continue his Conservative predecessors’ steadfast support for Ukraine. He and Biden will develop new strategies to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses in the long term.

Meloni has pledged to continue providing arms and aid to Ukraine, but questions remain about her Engagement of the right-wing extremist coalition to stand up to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not made public whether he plans to attend the summit. Biden has said he has no plans to meet with Putin but has left the door open to talk if Putin wants to discuss a free deal Americans imprisoned in Russia.

Biden administration officials have coordinated with global colleagues to isolate Putin if he decides to attend in person or virtually. You’ve talked about boycotts or other signs of condemnation.



Biden spoke of a global struggle between autocracies and democracies. But he must increasingly rely on less-democratic leaders to advance US interests, from Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who is hosting the climate conference, to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has defied US pleas limit purchases of Russian oil.

Biden used his Remarks at the United Nations in September to emphasize that the US stands ready to work with all nations – regardless of their system of government – to bring about change.

“The United Nations Charter was not only signed by the world’s democracies, it was negotiated by citizens of dozens of nations with vastly different histories and ideologies, united in their commitment to work for peace,” Biden said at the time.

The government says Biden has no plans to meet with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the OPEC+ cartel embarrassed Biden by curtailing production months after his July meeting with the crown prince. Biden blasted the move as suggesting Saudi Arabia is siding with Russia.



American voters will pass judgment on Biden’s governance and two years of Democratic control of Washington on Tuesday. It’s not clear how quickly Control of the House and Senate will be known after Election Day. The White House has persistently tried to make the midterms an option dueling visions for the nation instead of a referendum on Biden’s term.

The Democrats are privately preparing to at least lose control of the House of Representatives. A series of Senate races that could tip power in the 50-50 chamber are considered toss-ups. Depending on the results, Biden could start his trip abroad politically significantly weakened.

The sharpest impact of Tuesday’s results in the United States abroad could be the future of aid to Ukraine. Although support for the aid has been largely bipartisan, conservatives have increasingly expressed skepticism about the wisdom of continued support, as has the California representative. Kevin McCarthythe Republican leader poised to become Speaker of the House should the Republicans win that chamber.

Still, some observers believed that whatever the verdict, the mid-term outcome would not have a material impact on Biden’s maneuvers abroad.

“These issues usually go beyond politics,” said Ash Jain of the Atlantic Council, citing Congress’s support for Ukraine and increased US competition with China. “Biden’s discussions with leaders on these issues will remain largely unaffected by the election outcome.”



US and Chinese officials are working out the logistics of such a meeting between the two leaders, which would be the first such face-to-face meeting during Biden’s presidency. It could come at a time when Biden may face political punishment from US voters while Xi consolidated his power during the Communist Party congress that ended last month.

When it comes to a meeting, Biden will have no shortage of issues to raise with China, which the US administration is now claiming is his most powerful military and economic rival.

Tensions between the two nations have increased Taiwanespecially afterwards Visit by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosis in August to the self-governing island and Biden’s repeated statements that the US would defend Taiwan militarily if attacked by China – Comments his aides repeatedly declined.

The issue of trade penalties for Trump-era Chinese goods also remains on the table. Biden is also likely to address the issue of human rights violations in particular the Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. China has also refrained from publicly confronting Russia over Ukraine, though Putin said Xi leaked privately “Concerns and Questions” about the invasion when the two met in Uzbekistan in September.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, stressed Friday that the US government has never asked other countries to effectively choose between it and China, acknowledging that each nation can build relationships based on its own interests .

But “it will not change the fact that we want to continue to ensure that we are in the best possible position to compete strategically with China and to face the threats and challenges that China poses very physically and very tangibly – especially in the Indo-Pacific region,” Kirby added.



At the climate conference, Biden will highlight one of his key domestic policy accomplishments — Democrats’ massive health care and climate change bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act.

The U.S. commitment of roughly $375 billion over a decade to addressing climate change gives Biden greater leverage to press other nations to meet their pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition the global economy to cleaner energy sources.

Biden will be in a very different position from last year’s gathering, which came about during a particularly unfortunate phase in the bill’s tortuous path.

That summit resulted in additional global commitments to meet the temperature targets agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement, which Biden rejoined after then-President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal. But even with the new US law, America and the world still have a long way to go to meet emissions targets that scientists hope will curb global warming. And the political will to invest more – amid new headwinds for the global economy – is fading.

“There is a real gap in public policy reality from the ambition sealed in Glasgow,” said Joseph Majkut, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Energy Security and Climate Change program.

Global eagerness to shift away from fossil fuels was tempered by the turmoil in world energy markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden is urging oil and gas producers to increase production to meet demand and slash prices that have funded the Kremlin’s war effort.

The prospects for a significant breakthrough are even slimmer with big emitters like China and India sending fewer high-level delegations. Biden administration officials have sought to lower expectations of the meeting’s outcome, instead viewing it as a return to US leadership on the issue.


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Sarah Y. Kim

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