President Joe Biden said he welcomed competition from China in a speech on Friday, asserting his belief that a global alliance in partnership with Europe would prevail.
“Competition with China is going to be stiff. That’s what I expect and that’s what I welcome,” Biden said.
The president delivered his first major foreign policy speech virtually from the White House to the Munich Security Conference on Friday.
He said that the “global system” created by Europe, the United States, and allies in the Into-Pacific could compete with China.
“You know, we must prepare together for long-term strategic competition with China,” he said.
Biden called for European leaders to be “clear-eyed” about historic levels of necessary spending to compete with China as well as protection of intellectual property.
“We have to push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system,” he said.
During his speech, Biden did not mention China’s human rights abuses, or its role in allowing the coronavirus to spread across the world, devastating the world’s populations and stunting the economy.
He promised that the United States would spend up to $4 billion to invest in COVAX, a global health vaccination program effort.
Biden also spoke about investing in other global programs for public health.
“We have to work together to strengthen and reform the World Health Organization,” he said. “We need a UN system focused on biological threats that can move quickly to trigger action.”
Biden reasserted the importance of stopping global warming by reducing emissions and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
He apologized for the actions during his predecessor Donald Trump’s administration, vowing to rebuild America’s relationship with Europe.
“The last four years have been hard, but Europe and the United States have to lead with confidence once more,” he said.