How Biden's 'Summit for Democracy' Helps Solidify Growing Cooperation Between Russia and China
Joe Biden's "Summit for Democracy" could be a turning point, but not in the way the US president imagines, according to independent US journalist Max Parry. The summit, suggests Parry, has exposed the steady decline of the US as a bearer of democratic standards and the "leader of the free world".
US President Joe Biden's "Summit for Democracy" has turned into a punching bag for domestic and international observers
across the political spectrum who have criticised the US president for not being "democratic enough."
Bloomberg columnist Matthew Yglesias subjected
the recent virtual gathering to criticism. In contrast to other observers, however, the journalist urged US leadership to "relax its commitment to democratic norms."
According to Yglesias, the virtual gathering "was an effort to raise the ideological stakes in the competition between the US and China." Still, if Biden really wants to "contain" China, offers the journalist, he needs to stop pushing Russia into Beijing's arms.
Citing former US President Richard Nixon's strategy of pitting the People's Republic of China against the USSR, he suggested seeking rapprochement with Moscow. "The fight for democracy needs some hypocrisy," Yglesias quipped.
11 December 2021, 21:07 GMT
'Biden Got Stuck in Cold War Mindset'
The assumption that Biden's snubbing of Moscow and Beijing are further facilitating Sino-Russian rapprochement is accurate, according to American independent journalist and geopolitical analyst Max Parry.
"The fact that the United States's chief geopolitical rivals, Russia and China, were not invited means the real aim of this summit was to inflame the global divisions already escalating between the West and Eurasia in an increasingly multipolar world," Parry says. "In my view this effort will not only backfire but actually help solidify the growing cooperation and ties between Moscow and Beijing, strengthening a relationship that was once severely damaged decades ago by the Sino-Soviet split during the Cold War."
Parry notes that over the decades following the collapse of the USSR, China and Russia have considerably improved their relations, to the displeasure of the US foreign policy establishment. "An informal alliance between Moscow and Beijing has developed and become an existential threat to American primacy," the journalist remarks.
Nevertheless, the Biden administration is continuing to poke both Moscow and Beijing on multiple fronts.
Biden challenged the One China policy by inviting Taiwan to the "Summit for Democracy", instead of Beijing. The White House on 6 December announced a US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be hosted by China. The US president also tightened restrictions against Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE last month, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, US President Donald Trump.
8 December 2021, 21:25 GMT
Washington is also, according to some, peddling a groundless narrative of an "imminent invasion" of Ukraine
by Russian troops and threatening Moscow with new restrictive measures ranging from axing Russia's SWIFT membership and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to increasing the US military presence on its doorstep.
Last month, NATO's November Global Thunder drills prompted deep concern among Russian and Chinese military
, with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, agreeing that provocative US-NATO behavior poses a threat both to Moscow and Beijing. The Russian and Chinese ministers of defence, in response, have reportedly intensified joint strategic exercises and patrols.
The Russo-Chinese rapprochement is a potential nightmare for US geostrategists. Earlier this year, American foreign affairs experts and retired US Army combat officers warned the Biden administration
in a series of op-eds that "Washington's high-risk policy of military brinkmanship with Russia and China could end in the unthinkable." They argued that "avoiding a two-front war with China and Russia must rank among the foremost objectives of contemporary US grand strategy."
According to Parry, the Biden administration's belligerent posture is not based on strength or coherent strategy: in reality, the White House "remains in a fixed Cold War-mindset of American unipolarity which everyday appears to be in steep decline."
11 December 2021, 14:00 GMT
Washington's Democracy Export Machine is Out of Whack
Biden's "Summit for Democracy" exposed the demise of US strategic thinking and a lack of unity at home, according to the journalist.
"It is true that the theme of the summit was based on empty platitudes and that globalisation erodes the sovereignty of nation-states, but this is far from the only respect in which the gathering completely fails to live up to its own purported ideals," Parry says. "In fact, the sheer hypocrisy of the meeting cannot be put in too strong of terms. More importantly than failing to appeal to the left and right domestically, it is an embarrassment for the US on the world stage and only draws attention to its impending collapse as the [...] preeminent country."
It's especially hard for Washington to uphold its post-WWII role of the "leader of the free world," given its long record of military invasions, coups, and violating the sovereignty of countries throughout the global south, according to Parry.
11 December 2021, 17:19 GMT
To complicate matters, "the domestic US political system, be it electorally, economically or judicially, bears all the characteristics of an authoritarian and corrupt plutocracy," the journalist remarks, adding that by accusing others of "authoritarianism", Washington is de facto "displacing its own signature ills onto its geopolitical opponents."
"The summit could mark a real turning point in relations between the major world powers and be seen as a futile attempt by a floundering US to represent itself as the so-called leader of the free world just as there are clear signs it is in decline economically and geopolitically," Parry says. "Like the series of summits during Biden's trip to Europe earlier this year it has only resulted in national humiliation."