Biden stresses alliances, U.S. leadership

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks about health care and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) during a brief news conference at the theater serving as his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.

President-Elect Joe Biden on Tuesday stressed his plans for a foreign policy based on the United States taking a global leadership role and strengthening its alliances in the Asia-Pacific region after four turbulent years under President Donald Trump.

Introducing his planned national security team, Biden said his selection for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, would rebuild morale and trust in the U.S. State Department. 

The team embodied his core belief “that America is strongest when it works with its allies,” Biden said.

“It’s a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” he told a news briefing in Wilmington, Delaware. 

Biden said had been struck in calls with world leaders “by how much they’re looking forward to the United States reasserting its historic role as a global leader over the Pacific, as well as the Atlantic, all across the world.” 

Biden vowed to strengthen alliances in the Asia-Pacific stressed the diplomatic experience of his team, which had, working with partners, secured “some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory.” 

“That’s how we truly keep America safe. Without engaging in needless military conflicts, and our adversaries in check,” he said.

During the election campaign, Biden vowed to reverse Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change, take a tough line on China’s expanding influence worldwide and rejoin the Iran nuclear accord if Tehran resumes strict compliance. 

In addition to Blinken, Biden’s team includes Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. 

Biden, who is due to take office on Jan. 20, said he hoped the Republican-dominated Senate would give a prompt hearing to his nominees.

Blinken also stressed the need to work with allies, who Trump often made a target for public criticism as part of his “America First” approach to foreign policy. 

“We can’t solve all the world’s problems alone” he said. “We need to be working with other countries, we need their cooperation, we need their partnership.” 

Thomas-Greenfield added: “I want to say to you: America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back.”

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