JOSEPH Biden Jr. will soon take over as the 46th President of the United States. There is some consternation as many critics are not sure how the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris duo will react to the human rights situation, particularly in Kashmir. Also, that he will be ‘soft’ on China which may recoil on India in its current military confrontation with that country.
Biden is a seasoned and skilful politician, who for decades has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including as its chair. Second, he is calm, contemplative and a team leader who will listen to and go by the professional advice of the US establishment — including the State, Defence, National and Homeland Security, CIA, Trade and other departments. His long innings as the Vice President in two terms of President Obama unambiguously authenticate this view.
In an article, Why America must lead again, in the Foreign Affairs journal in March this year, Biden wrote that President Trump had diminished the credibility and influence of the US by abdicating the American leadership, indulging in ill-advised trade wars which had hurt its own consumers and undermining and abandoning its allies which are America’s biggest strength.
The post-Covid world will be very different from 2016 when the Obama-Biden duo left. China’s economy has made huge strides during this period. However, much of China’s economic growth is based on extensive use of unfair trade practices, including denial of market access, stealing of foreign technologies, subsidies to its state-owned industries and others.
China’s swift growth has been accompanied by massive modernisation of its military, including manufacture of fifth generation of fighter and stealth aircraft, long- and medium-range missiles, hypersonic and artificial intelligence (AI)-based weapons, destroyers and aircraft carriers.