After a marathon and undoubtedly the longest-haul vote counts in the history of the United States of America, Joe Biden has finally knocked the doors of White House after the presidential elections 2020. This election turned out to be well one of the most consequential presidential elections in a generation. The President Elect; Joe Biden will have to play a significant role both in domestic policy, and in shaping American engagement with Asia-Pacific region in an age of rising Chinese power to maintain its hegemony in the region.
China is the main factor determining America’s relations with Asia, whether it is East Asia, South East Asia or South Asia. Bilateral relations with any of the countries in the region will be determined by that country’s relations or engagement with China.
In the last few years, South Asia has become important for US policy on Asia given the fact that China has spread its tentacles in the region with huge investments in infrastructural projects. The existing regional and global powers, namely India and the US, have also been apprehensive about China’s throwing its weight about in the Indian Ocean region just as it is doing in South China Sea.
Major upset Trump regime had to face was the blunt and open statements of President Trump in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Many think tanks and scholar consider this alongside foreign policy in Asia-Pacific region as the reason Donald Trump couldn’t cross the last line in presidential race.
The Democratic candidate and soon to be sworn to the throne of Presidency of the world’s powerful country; USA, Joe Biden also made some promises regarding tackling COVID-19 and major changes in foreign policy especially towards Asia and Pacific. Joe Biden’s approach will be to convince China that it would be in its interest to reform its conduct in international affairs including the trade, technology and maritime sectors.
As far as tackling Corona virus is concerned, Joe Biden promised that his administration will be providing free testing for all, calling upon federal agencies to deploy resources and will be focusing on providing better national guidance on the pandemic.
Joe Biden will certainly attempt to contain China which is challenging America’s pre-eminence in the world, his methods will be different. Under his scheme, the emphasis will not just be on strategic and military cooperation but economic cooperation based on mutual gain. Joe Biden presented a roadmap of its economic policies.
Joe Biden has given economic policies to support young people and blue collar workers. He endorses the idea of increasing minimum wages. He also supports the idea of spending resources on social security, student loans, and the green energy program. So his economic plan for the next four years is basically to support the working class of America.
Joe Biden has been very keen on the climate change issue and has regarded it as an existential threat. He will be working on a $1.7 trillion federal investment in green technologies research to be spent over the next 10 years in America.
When it comes to the healthcare sector, Joe Biden will obviously be bringing back and expanding the Obama Care and he will bring back the parts which have been repealed by Trump. Furthermore, Biden has proposed building down the walls and letting in immigrants from all around the world to pursue their dream of living in USA.
The policies towards South Asia under the Biden administration are expected to not be massively different than those of the Trump administration. Just a week before the 2020 elections, Trump administration took a step ahead to build up strategic relations with South Asia with Mike Pompeo’s multi country visit. This is expected to be followed up with Biden administration.
In terms of his Asia policy, Biden would preside over an updated, stiffened version of President Obama’s pivot or rebalance policy, the formulation and implementation of which will at least take regional interests more seriously. President Biden will show up and engage ASEAN on critical issues.
The importance of India in the region will remain paramount even under Biden’s administration. Even though Biden has repeatedly endorsed getting back on track with China, the growing Chinese influence will be a threat to USA’s hegemony on which Biden will also not compromise. So Biden will also focus on strengthening the Indo-US relationship if it does not want to diminish in the face of Chinese progress.
The President-Elect Joe Biden has always been seen as a steadfast friend, a key ally him the South Asian region from his days as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As an institution builder, it is believed that he will keep the long-term strategic interests of the relationship in mind and he understands the complementarily of these interests and our shared democratic values
In Afghanistan, the Trump administration’s peace process which was initiated in Qatar with Afghan Taliban will most likely be continued under Joe Biden’s presidency. A peace deal between the Taliban and the Kabul government will afford a US a somewhat graceful exit from Afghanistan after a futile and costly war spanning over decades.
Joe Biden will bring normalcy towards US-Pak relations which had been disrupted badly under the Trump administration. He has a vast foreign policy experience and will be playing fair in the development of relations with Pakistan. His approach and policies towards the Kashmir issue will be of substantial importance. Having Kamala Harris as his VP, who is of Indian descent, will bring mature understanding towards the region and hence the Biden administration will have a very conciliatory role towards the Kashmir conflict in South Asia.
Despite the sturdy claims made by Trump about his rising popularity, Joe Biden has defied him and took the American throne as the eldest president in US history. He is considered to be a very calm and prudent fellow who will likely step up the game of world peace and will surely Make America Great Again.
Author is doing BS in International Relation from Lahore College for Women University. She is a freelance writer. Previously worked with The Frontier Post, Dawn and Express Tribune.