U.S. President Joe Biden declared the end of a war in Afghanistan and emphasized that it is now time for the U.S. to deal with the 21st-century threats it is facing, such as China and Russia.
“The world is changing. We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyberattacks and nuclear proliferation,” President Biden said on Tuesday (local time), just one day after the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, at the White House. “And there’s nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan,” he added. “We have to shore up America’s competitiveness to meet these new challenges in the competition for the 21st century.”
“As we turn the page on the foreign policy that has guided our nation the last two decades, we’ve got to learn from our mistakes,” the president said, emphasizing that the U.S. should focus on its biggest threat, which is China, not the Middle East. His foreign policy direction was very clear in his statement that the U.S. will stop playing the role of the global policeman and focus on addressing the current and future threats in foreign affairs and security based on its own national interests. He seems to have mentioned ‘nuclear proliferation’ in consideration of the growing nuclear threats from China and North Korea.
The White House repeatedly mentioned on Tuesday the need for dialogues with North Korea regarding the North’s resumption of Yongbyon nuclear facilities by saying that they have left the door open. “Our offer remains to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said to a question asking about the current understanding of what North Korea is doing with their nuclear program and if there is any renewed outreach to Kim Jong Un and his regime. “South Korea and the U.S. are discussing various measures to get involved in North Korean matters, including consultation on joint humanitarian assistance for the North,” Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk said in a press conference during his visit to the U.S. “South Korea and the U.S. share the common stance to be fully prepared to pursue things anytime as soon as North Korea reciprocates.”