Washington (AP): President Joe Biden set out to finally complete the “pivot to Asia,” a long-sought adjustment of U.S. foreign policy to better reflect the rise of America’s most significant military and economic competitor: China.
But Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has made that vexing move even more complicated. China’s government has vacillated between full embrace and more measured responses as Russian President Vladimir Putin prosecutes his war, making the decisions for Biden far more layered.
Biden and China’s Xi Jinping are scheduled to speak by phone on Friday, a conversation that the White House says will center on “managing the competition between our two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern.”
The Biden administration is left needing to focus east and west at the same time, balancing not simply economic imperatives but military ones as well.
“It’s difficult. It’s expensive,” Kurt Campbell, the coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs on the White House National Security Council, said during a recent forum of maintaining a high-level U.S. focus in two regions. “But it’s also essential, and I believe we’re entering a period where that’s what will be required of the United States and of this generation of Americans.”