The head of US diplomacy will visit Berlin, Paris, and Rome in a read as a "continuity" of the policy of the Democratic president. One of the objectives is to achieve homogeneous positions about China.
Days after American Joe Biden's first presidential trip abroad, Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Europe on Tuesday to continue trying to build Western unity against a rising China.
The head of US diplomacy left for Berlin, Paris, and Rome to meet with two main leaders of the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, and the highest officials of the Vatican and participate in the Libyan peace talks.
Blinken will close his journey with a meeting on June 29 in the Italian city of Matera of the Group of 20 major economies, bringing him face to face with his Chinese counterpart, the powerhouse the United States has identified as its main rival.
On his tour, Biden had proposed to the Western democracies of the Group of Seven a vast infrastructure plan to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative and led a NATO summit to address the case of the Asian country more explicitly than ever.
The visit is a continuation of President Biden's priority of rebuilding relations with our allies, said Phil Recker, the top US ambassador to Europe.
"Strengthening these ties will lay the groundwork for many foreign policy priorities, including economic recovery, because when we get out of the epidemic and oppose the People's Republic of China and the world at large," he told the press. I will oppose dictatorial rule.
Most European countries have welcomed Biden's enthusiasm for alliances after the turbulent presidency of Donald Trump. He criticized friendly nations for what he called unfair business practices and insufficient contributions to the common defense.
Biden has stepped in to ease tensions with Europe, rejecting Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Germany and resolving a long-running dispute with Europe over aircraft subsidies.
In a more controversial decision, it renounced major sanctions on Nord Stream 2, the nearly completed gas pipeline between Russia and Germany that Ukraine is especially opposed to, fighting pro-Russian separatists and fearing losing its influence as a transit point.
Some lawmakers from Biden's Democratic Party criticized the president's move, taken in the interests of appeasement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom the US head of state met last week in Geneva.
The Biden administration argues that the project was too advanced to stop. In return, it outlined a strategy to work with Germany on establishing red lines to Russia. Reeker said the administration decided "to get something positive out of this difficult situation."
Changes in China
Ian Lesser, vice president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said that Nord Stream was one of several subjects in which Biden will have to maintain a "difficult balance" with the Europeans.
As Merkel prepares to end her 15-year term after this year's elections, the friendly new face in the White House helps ensure that the relationship between the United States and the most populous nation in the EU remains stable.
But the next German leader could take a different approach to China than the current chancellor, an advocate of courting the Asian power through trade.
One of the main candidates for Merkel's succession, Annalena Baerbock of the Greens, defends positions that would please Biden, for example, on Chinese companies such as Huawei, which collect data in Europe, Or the treatment of the Uighur minority, a case for which the United States accuses Beijing of genocide.
"Europe is getting tougher on China," said Brussels-based Laser. While attitudes here are not exactly right in Washington and may never be right in detail or in style, the Biden administration has been trying to encourage this for a long time. The term absurdity, he said.