An senior air warrior and political observer who has the pulse of the region and can sense a change when it comes.
Ever since Joe Biden became president of the United States he has been under intense pressure as he has presided over the decline of the United States in terms of prestige and efficacy. The retreat from Afghanistan looks like the mother of all retreats and showed the United States in a very poor light. With a Russia-China axis taking place, Joe Biden had to hit back and he thought of doing this by holding a summit for democracy 110 countries were invited for the summit and some of the invitations like to Pakistan was contentious and some who were genuine democracies like Sri Lanka and Nepal were left out.
Biden wanted to make a statement of intent to China when he invited Taiwan for the meeting. This was a bold decision but as subsequent events showed he developed cold feet and showed his fear of China. It was all very ludicrous.
Taiwan and conference
The summit of democracy was Biden's attempt to take the leadership of the world which he had lost. It was a virtual summit and the main charter was to strengthen democracy at home and at the same time confront autocracies. The three themes of the summit were a defense against authority, fighting corruption, and support for human rights. By inviting Taiwan, people had a feeling that at last Joe Biden was coming to grips with the problems. But as Rumor Godden has written, " thus far and no further" is the epitaph Biden chose.
Russia and China had opposed the conference and said that it was an attempt to divide the world. Who all spoke at the meeting and what all they said is all there on the internet but I will just like to comment on one very important point. When Taiwan delegate Audrey Tang was making a video presentation that showed a map with Taiwan & China marked in different colors, the presentation was taken off the air. Later the US State Department called it an honest mistake. They clarified the video was removed due to confusion over share-screening. However, reports have emanated to say the presentation by the Taiwanese Minister had alarmed US officials and Biden. What actually happened was that Biden was extremely scared of annoying China because China has made it plain that it will not accept any dilution of the one-China policy
So in effect, the so-called summit for democracy in my opinion failed because Joe Biden was found wanting in facing China. it would've been better if he had not called Taiwan for the meeting.
Biden is a poor strategist and should have a plan to break the Russia- China axis. It would have been an excellent ploy in case he had called Putin for the conference but willy-nilly he's driving Russia into the arms of the Chinese. It doesn't require a man with formal education to know that if Russia -China form a monolith block, it will be kaput for the United States.
The Taiwan incident at the summit for democracy has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many. With China carrying out drills for the invasion of Taiwan, the effect on most nations in Southeast Asia is that Joe Biden just doesn't have the gumption to oppose China. His antics during the summit for democracy once again have shown his incompetency. The nations on China's rim in the Indo- pacific region are wondering what is going to be their fate. Pakistan has already chosen to be with China and declined the invitation to attend the conference.
© 2021 MG Singh emge