Johnson and Biden come together because of geopolitical needs


Joe Biden’s first overseas visit as US President this week will include a meeting with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on Sunday. The meeting with the 95-year-old monarch will definitely become the focus of the US media.

But Biden will first spend three days at the Cornwall boutique hotel of Boris Johnson’s less formal company, and he memorably described the British prime minister as Donald Trump’s in 2019. “Body and Emotional Cloning”.

The political environment and geopolitical necessity brought Biden and Johnson together. Before the G7 summit that Johnson will host, both sides believe that their relationship has great potential, but there are also potential dangers.

Johnson’s first face-to-face meeting with the President of the United States in Cornwall was a critical moment for both leaders.One is trying reconstruction The United States’ global leadership is another attempt to prove that “Global Britain” is more than just a slogan.

Things got off to a good start at a meeting hosted by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in London on Saturday. The finance ministers of the Group of Seven countries discussed a US-backed taxation of global companies. Plan to reach an agreement.

The Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall, where Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will have their first face-to-face meeting © Anthony Devlin/Bloomberg

On the eve of the G7 summit, which began on Friday, the Biden camp has been talking about “special relationship”, a term coined by Winston Churchill 75 years ago and has now aroused the collective fear of many British diplomats.

“The term special relationship does more harm than good,” said Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to Washington. “It raises expectations.”

But Meyer pointed out that when US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken visited London last month, he specifically emphasized that Churchill’s ideas about the relationship between the two countries still apply. The United States “has no closer ally or closer partner than Britain.”

Both sides want to cover up Biden’s belief that Brexit is the UK’s mistake, but they are still cautious about Johnson.Analysts and officials say that both leaders have made great efforts to put aside the tension: one of Biden’s First call After his inauguration is Johnson.

Heather Conley, senior vice president of European affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said: “Biden is a retail politician who understands that we must transcend ideological differences and be busy on the agenda.”

Fortunately for Johnson, in the year that Brexit took effect, the United Kingdom assumed the chairmanship of both G7 and the United Nations. COP26 The climate summit gave him the opportunity to assert that Britain has convening power as an “independent” country.

Another former British ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, said: “Because this is an important meeting for Biden, the president hopes to establish good relations with the UK and the prime minister.”

Boris Johnson called Joe Biden after winning the U.S. presidential election last November

Boris Johnson called Joe Biden after winning the U.S. presidential election last November © Andrew Parsons/No10 Downing Street

In many areas, Biden and Johnson have the same interests.The President of the United States hopes that Vaccination, Contain Russia and Iran and reform to Global enterprise tax. Johnson has similar ambitions and hopes that these two summits will yield results.

But there are also some tensions, even for long weekends spent on the white sandy beaches of Cornwall. Cabis Bay It is unlikely to be erased. The biggest problem is the way the UK implements the Northern Ireland Agreement-which is part of the Johnson Brexit Agreement.

The President’s assertion last year that “I am Irish” reminded him of his determination to ensure Brexit Will not destabilize The 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought peace to the region after three years of violence. London and Brussels will negotiate this issue next week, followed by G7 and National Security Council senior director Amanda Sloat (Amanda Sloat) confirmed on Friday that Biden will raise this issue with Johnson.

She said Biden has made it clear that he wants to see Northern Ireland maintain the agreement and “continue to maintain economic and political stability.” She “has no doubt, this is the message he will strengthen in the UK”.

Max Bergmann, a former State Department official under Barack Obama and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said he hopes to be “direct confrontation” on this issue, but If this happens, it is outside the lens.

A bar in Cornwall hoists the flags of G7 member states before the summit this week

Before the summit this week, a bar in Cornwall hoisted the flags of G7 member states © Tom Nicholson/Reuters

Darok said: “I think the next 12 months will be good. Unless we do something on the Northern Ireland Agreement that disturbs the Irish government, they will call their friends in Parliament directly. Very troublesome.”

On the China issue, Johnson’s position is tougher than most other G7 countries, but some people believe that he may be pressured by Biden in the coming months to strengthen Britain’s position on Beijing.

Johnson recently “Comprehensive review” Foreign and national defense policy is committed to pursuing “positive economic relations, including deeper trade ties and more Chinese investment in the UK”, which has been criticized by the British hawks.

Darok said: “I think Boris hopes that both sides can do it: take sufficient measures against China to keep Americans and anti-China lobby groups in his party away from him, while avoiding deep rifts with the Chinese leadership as much as possible. .”

“In the end, he will be closer to Biden in Chinese policy than some Europeans. But if Biden’s request to the UK on the China issue rises sharply, he will find it difficult. Once upon a time, we could hide behind the EU’s common position. no longer.”

British officials said that although Western leaders welcome the return of the United States to the international system, they may be uncomfortable when Biden starts asking them to provide more cash for issues such as global vaccines, climate change or defense spending.

A senior European diplomat said: “All of us will soon realize what it feels like to get the United States involved again,” he pointed out that some countries may start to be annoyed by Biden’s new tough attitude.

The diplomat said: “In some European capitals, there is a feeling that we are people who have been on the road for the past four years when it comes to issues such as climate or vaccines.”



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About the Author: Agnes Zang