US President-elect Joe Biden has said America under him would reclaim its credibility to lead the free world, insisting that the world faces an “enormous vacuum” without America’s leadership.
Biden‘s remarks came as he held a meeting with his national security team to discuss different strategic challenges.
Biden said there are several pressing national security issues his administration is preparing to tackle when he takes office next month, including the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis.
“We’ve overcome incredible challenges as a nation. And we will do so again. We’ll do it by coming together. By uniting after a year of pain and loss to heal, to rebuild, and to reclaim America’s place in the world,” Biden said.
“This is the work that lies ahead of us, and I know we are up to the task. We will champion liberty and democracy once more. We will reclaim our credibility to lead the free world,” he said.
He also vowed to repair the US foreign policy.
Noting that there is an enormous vacuum right now, Biden said: “We’re going to have to regain the trust and confidence of a world that has begun to find ways to work around us or without us.”
“When we consider the most daunting threats of our time, we know that meeting them requires American engagement and leadership, but also that none of them can be solved by America acting alone,” Biden said.
Climate change is one such example, he said.
The US accounts for less than 15 per cent of global carbon emissions. But without a clear, coordinated, and committed approach from the other 85 per cent of carbon emitters, the world will continue to warm, storms will continue to worsen, and climate change will continue to threaten lives and livelihoods, public health, and economies — and the very existence on the planet, he said.
“We’ve learned so painfully this year the cost of being unprepared for a pandemic that leaps borders and circles the globe. If we aren’t investing with our partners around the world in strengthening health systems everywhere, we’re undermining our ability to permanently defeat Covid-19, and we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable to the next deadly epidemic,” he said.
Nearly 334,836 people have died in the US due to the pandemic.
The President-elect said part of the discussion in the briefing focused on strategic challenges that China and Russia pose to the United States.
“And as we compete with China and hold China’s government accountable for its abuses on trade, technology, human rights, and other fronts, our position will be much stronger when we build coalitions of like-minded partners and allies to make common cause with us in defence of our shared interests and values,” he said.
“That’s how we multiply the impact of our efforts and make those efforts more sustainable. That’s the power of smart and effective American leadership,” said the president-elect.
Biden said much work needs to be done to re-invest in diplomacy after four years of pulling back from international organisations and agreements.
President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the World Health Organization, the Paris Climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.