Washington DC: The White House laid out a national security strategy Wednesday aimed at checking an ascendant China and a more assertive Russia even as it stressed that domestic investments are key to helping the U.S. compete in the critical decade ahead.
The Biden administration’s first national security strategy, a document required by statute, stresses the need for a foreign policy that balances the interests of global allies with those of middle-class Americans.
“We understand that if the United States is to succeed abroad, we must invest in our innovation and industrial strength, and build our resilience, at home,” the strategy states. “Likewise, to advance shared prosperity domestically and to uphold the rights of all Americans, we must proactively shape the international order in line with our interests and values.”
In broad brushstrokes, the strategy sketches a “decisive decade” for national security, as President Joe Biden faces an arguably more complicated world than when he took office 21 months ago in the midst of the worst global pandemic in a century. At the same time, the White House said policymakers must “avoid the temptation to view the world solely through a competitive lens, and engage countries on their own terms.”
Officials say that the focus on U.S. interests remains central to Biden’s foreign policy vision. But the new strategy document also reflects the long list of crises that have left the world facing shared challenges including climate change, food insecurity, communicable diseases, and inflation.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government on Thursday accused Washington of “Cold War thinking” and appealed for efforts to repair strained relations after the release of the national security strategy that calls for “out-competing China” and blocking its efforts to reshape global affairs.
Biden’s document Wednesday accused China of trying to “erode U.S. alliances” and “create more permissive conditions for its own authoritarian model.” It called for “out-competing China” in political alliances and “global governance” as well as business, technology, and military affairs.
U.S.-Chinese relations are at their lowest level in decades, strained by disputes over technology, security, Taiwan, and human rights.