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America's 'return' faces obstacles, not enough to revive West: expert

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-18 09:38
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US President Joe Biden takes part in a press conference on the final day of the G7 summit at Cornwall Airport Newquay, near Newquay, Cornwall on June 13, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - US President Joe Biden said "America is back at the table" following the recent G7 summit in Britain, which however collides with four inconvenient truths and might not be enough to revive the West, an expert from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has written in his latest column.

"First, the Western-led order was on its heels well before (former US President Donald) Trump, knocked off balance by rising geopolitical competition from China and Russia," wrote Stewart Patrick, the CFR's James H. Binger senior fellow in global governance, in his article entitled "America's 'Return' Might Not Be Enough to Revive the West."

There was a shrinking collective share of global gross domestic product among the member states of the high-income Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, along with public disillusionment with globalization, particularly after the financial crisis, Patric, also director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, said in the article.

"These weaknesses remain," the expert added.

Second, the Trump era cast doubt on US global staying power, encouraging close allies in Europe and Asia to hedge their bets against a suddenly capricious America, Partick noted, pointing out that such misgivings persist, despite Biden's reassurances.

"Third, the Trump presidency demolished what little remained of the bipartisan internationalist consensus. Democrats and Republicans now inhabit different foreign policy planets," he said.

Finally, it is unclear if inherited Western institutions can adapt to today's global challenges, whether climate change, cyberwarfare, pandemic disease or economic dislocation, Patrick wrote.

Biden may have a lot on his agenda during his current trip to Europe, which encompassed the G7 and NATO meetings, but "immediate practical challenges and internal political tensions may complicate these aspirations," he said.

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