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What did President Biden say about US position in the world?

In a lengthy address on foreign affairs, President Biden spoke on many issues including those facing US relations with Yemen, China and Russia.

What did President Biden say about US position in the world?
MANDEL NGAN AFP

President Joe Biden made his first ever foreign policy address as President on Thursday, vowing to restore America’s leadership position on the world stage and repair alliances through diplomacy.

Speaking at length at the U.S. Department of State Headquarters in Washington, Biden outlined his vision for addressing an assortment of global issues, including the civil war in Yemen, trade relations with China and tensions with Russia.

What did president Biden say about US position in the world?

President Biden reinforced his message of unity and strength going forward, and departing pointedly from his predecessor’s “America First” foreign policy.

“When we strengthen our alliances we amplify our power as well as our ability to disrupt threats before they reach our shores,” Biden said. “America cannot afford to be absent any longer on the world stage,” he added.

A new stance on Russia

“I made it very clear to President Putin in a manner very different from my predecessor that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russian aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyber attacks, poisoning its citizens, are over,” Biden said.

“We will be more effective in dealing with Russia when we work in coalition and coordination with other like-minded partners,” he added.

Biden also renewed calls for the immediate release of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was detained in Moscow last month and sentenced to more than two years in prison, say CNBC.

“He’s been targeted for exposing corruption and he should be released immediately and without condition,” Biden said.

Rebuilding broken allegiance with China

Biden made clear he would make a clean break after four years of fractured trade relations with China, as Donald Trump placed blame at its door for everything from intellectual property theft to the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden said he would work more closely with allies in order to mount pushback against China.

“We will confront China’s economic abuses,” Biden explained, describing the country as America’s “most serious competitor.”

“But we’re also ready to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest to do so. We’ll compete from a position of strength by building back better at home and working with our allies and partners,” the President added.

Civil war in Yemen

The Yemen civil war escalated in 2014 when Houthi forces, who are in alliance with former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, took over the nation’s capital.

Saudi Arabia – once backed by the Trump’s US government - and the United Arab Emirates have carried out attacks in Yemen against the Houthis since 2015.

In his speech Thursday Biden described the war as having “created a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.” And he pledged to step “up our diplomacy to end the war in Yemen,” by imposing a ceasefire, opening humanitarian channels, and restoring long-dormant peace talks.

“And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” the President added.

Immigration: refugee admissions to increase

The President also doubled down on his immigration policy, announcing that he would be increasing the nation’s annual refugee admissions cap to 125,000 in the 12-month period starting Oct. 1.

“The United States’ moral leadership on refugee issues was a point of bipartisan consensus for so many decades,” Biden said. “Our example pushed other nations to open wider doors as well. So today, I’m approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need,” he added.

“It’s going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged.”