Last week, President Biden spoke with President XI. This week the President made the call to allies. "China's economic abuses and coercion can no longer be tolerated" he said.
"We must prove that democracy is not a relic of history". He could have been speaking about the attack on the Capitol building but a wider remit was in mind.
Biden is seeking to reaffirm Uncle Sam's commitments to NATO and the transatlantic alliance. The US will rejoin the Paris climate agreement, commit to the World Health Organization and seek to revive the nuclear deal with Iran. The White House announced it was easing Trump's sanctions, against Iranian diplomats, as a first step in rapprochement.
No olive branch or bamboo shoots for China. Just a broad shot across the bow. Beijing is cast as the principal threat to American-led global order. "The West should prepare for long term strategic competition with China and own the race for the future" he said.
"The transatlantic alliance is the cornerstone of all we hope to accomplish in the 21st century", the President added with a flourish.
Macron and Merkel stressed the divergence between the challenges for Europe and the US. Macron is aware of the significance of the Asia Pacific region to American ambitions. Merkel appealed for a balance between rivalry and collaboration with the East.
"In recent years, China has gained more power on the international stage, we must react to that". The period of US hegemony has passed its sell by date. Europe is well aware China is set to overtake the US as the largest economy in the world before the end of the decade.
Europe will not respond to a call to action. This is not a re run of the Boxer rebellion with an eight nation march on Beijing. Biden may be costing a decoupling from China. The estimates of $200 billion dollars a year to the US would be a price to high to pay in Europe.
It is also a price to high to pay for Uncle Sam ... of that, the adults in the White House, are well aware ...
The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for updates on the UK and World Economy.
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