Biden's world: US president calls on allies and partners in Indo-Pacific


In his first speech as US president before the United Nations General Assembly, Joe Biden made no mention of scuttled submarine deals or French ambassadors recalled to Washington and Canberra. Instead, he talked up the ties that bind. So how artful a dodge was it? How high were the stakes in a speech where Biden also pledged he was not seeking a new Cold War? The US president called out many authoritarian regimes, but never mentioned China by name.


Biden later sat down with the Australian prime minister, just after last week's surprise announcement of a new Australia-UK-US alliance aimed squarely at Beijing. Ahead of Xi Jinping's speech by video link, both superpowers want to project strength amid a growing military rivalry and after a pandemic that has shown up the West's reliance on goods and technology made in China. Meanwhile in China, a potential property bubble burst could become the whole world's problem. Europe and the rest of the world appear beholden to China's strengths and weaknesses, the way Europe is beholden to those of the United States.

Before the fall of Kabul, Biden's speech at the UN was billed as the grand return of Washington to the fold of nations who support and cooperate with the international community. Now, after an Afghanistan withdrawal where the rest of the West had to play by US rules and amid rising tensions over America's tech dominance, what does the new world order really look like as seen by the new man in the White House?

Produced by Andrew Hilliar, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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