President Joe Biden said Friday that the US and its international partners must hold China accountable for explaining its economic practices.
“We must defend ourselves against the abuses and coercions of the Chinese government, which undermine the foundations of the international economic system,” said Biden in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, which was practically delivered by the White House.
“Everyone has to play by the same rules,” he said at the annual international policy meeting.
Biden’s appearance, his debut to an international audience since he took office as president, came as his administration tries to maintain a tough stance on China as it moves away from former President Donald Trump’s militant relationship with Beijing.
The Trump administration sought to reshape trade relations between the US and China, with an emphasis on encouraging Beijing to purchase US goods while addressing issues such as intellectual property protection and forced technology transfers.
After reaching the first “phase” of a deal, Trump canceled an additional round of trade talks with China in 2020, to which he attributed the full spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump’s “America First” political ethos also alienated some European leaders long allied with the United States. Biden has made it clear that he intends to improve relations with America’s international partners.
“I know that the last few years have strained and tested our transatlantic relationship. But the United States is determined to reconnect with Europe,” said Biden at the beginning of his speech on Friday.
Before making his presentation, Biden met with leaders of the G7, the group of nations that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US, to develop a global response to the Covid pandemic discuss.
In a joint statement following that meeting, the G7 vowed to “work together and work with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism”.
The G7 statement also announced that member states would allocate US $ 7.5 billion to COVAX, an international initiative aimed at improving access to Covid vaccines. The White House said Thursday that the US would pledge $ 4 billion for global vaccination efforts through 2022.
According to the statement, the G7 meeting also touched China. “With the aim of supporting a fair and mutually beneficial global economic system for all people, we will work with others, especially with G20 countries, including large economies like China,” it said.
Biden went on in his speech.
“US and European companies must publicly announce corporate governance structures … and adhere to rules to prevent corruption and monopoly practices. Chinese companies should adhere to the same standard,” said the president.
“We need to stand up for the democratic values that make it possible to achieve all of this and defend ourselves against those who would monopolize and normalize oppression,” said Biden.
The Chinese embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on Biden’s speech.
The President noted that “in this way we too can counter the threat from Russia”, which seeks to “weaken the European project and our NATO alliance”.
“The challenges with Russia may be different from those with China, but they are just as real,” said Biden.
“It’s not about playing East against West. It’s not about we want a conflict. We want a future in which all nations can freely determine their own path without the threat of violence or coercion,” said Biden. “We cannot and must not return to the reflexive opposition and rigid blocks of the Cold War.”
Read the full G7 joint statement:
“We, the leaders of the Group of Seven, met today and decided to work together to beat and rebuild COVID-19 better. Because of our strengths and values as democratic, open economies and societies, we will work together and work with others. ” Make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism and create a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and our planet.
“We will step up collaboration on the health response to COVID-19. The commitment of key workers everywhere represents the best of humankind, while the rapid discovery of vaccines shows the power of human ingenuity. Collaboration with and collaborative empowerment of the World Health Organization (WHO ) and support their leading and coordinating role, we will: Accelerate the global development and use of vaccines, work with industry to increase production capacity, including through voluntary licensing, improve the exchange of information, for example in the sequencing of new variants, and promote them transparent and responsible practices and trust in vaccines. We reaffirm our support for all pillars of access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), its COVAX facility and affordable and equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, reflecting the role of comprehensive vaccination as a global public good. Today, with increased financial commitments of over $ 4 billion for ACT-A and COVAX, co. G7 support totals $ 7.5 billion. We invite all partners, including the G20 and international financial institutions, to join us in increasing support for ACT-A, including providing developing countries with access to WHO-approved vaccines through the COVAX facility.
“COVID-19 shows that the world needs stronger defenses against future risks to global health security. We will work with the WHO, the G20 and others, particularly at the Global Health Summit in Rome, to develop the global architecture for health and Strengthen health security for pandemic preparedness, including through health funding and rapid response mechanisms, strengthening the One Health approach and universal health coverage, and exploring the potential value of a global health contract.
“We have provided over $ 6 trillion in unprecedented support to our economies in the G7 over the past year. We will continue to support our economies in protecting jobs and supporting a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive recovery. We reaffirm our support for high-risk countries, our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and our partnership with Africa, including support for a stable recovery, and we will work together through the G20 and international financial institutions to increase support for countries’ responses by examining all the tools available, including through full and transparent implementation of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework.
“The recovery from COVID-19 needs to get better for everyone. With UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15 in mind, we will put our global ambitions on climate change and reversing biodiversity loss at the center of our plans. We will move forward in containment, adaptation and funding in accordance with the Paris Agreement and providing an environmentally friendly transformation and clean energy transition that reduce emissions and create good jobs on the way to net zero by no later than 2050. We strive to align our economies so that no geographic region or people, regardless of gender or ethnicity, are left behind. We will: Promote open economies and societies that promote global economic resilience, Use the digital economy with free flow of data with confidence, on a modernized, freer and more equitable A more rule-based multilateral trade system that reflects our values and delivers balanced growth with a reformed World Trade Organization at its center and a consensus-based international solution that seeks taxation by mid-2021 under the OECD. With the aim of supporting a fair and mutually beneficial global economic system for all people, we will work with others, especially G20 countries, including large economies like China. As leaders, we will deliberate on collective approaches to address non-market strategies and practices, and we will work with others to address important global issues that affect all countries.
“We resolve to agree concrete actions on these priorities at the G7 summit in the UK in June, and we support Japan’s commitment to safely host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer as a symbol of world unity at the Overcoming COVID-19. “