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America is back, to putting itself first: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-07-28 20:07
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President Joe Biden. [Photo/Agencies]

The jealous temper of Washington, being ever more disposed to censure rather than to praise the work of others, has constantly hindered concerted efforts to pursue new methods and improved systems with which to address the many challenges the world now faces.

Although the Joe Biden administration has declared that "America is back", the calculated intent behind that expression of sociability belies the implied message that its foreign policy is in nature different from that of the previous administration.

In fact the incumbent administration continues to demonstrate that it is just as trepidatious, suspicious and imperious as its predecessor.

As its politicization of the COVID-19 virus origin tracing efforts show, the Biden administration has taken the baton from its predecessor and is just as eagerly trying to obstruct any attempts at forging international cooperation to fight the novel coronavirus in the mistaken belief that a divide-and-rule policy of friends and enemies serves the US best.

Thus it has openly leaned on its allies to pressure the World Health Organization to conduct another origin-tracing field study in China, implying that the virus leaked from a virology lab in Wuhan, even though the latter's expert group concluded in its research report in March that it was "highly unlikely" the virus leaked from the lab.

Not to be outdone by the Donald Trump administration in displaying contemptuous disdain toward those of the international community that are not the US' lickspittles, the Biden administration has simply ignored calls from the international community for international experts to inspect Fort Detrick, a US biological weapons lab that has a record of leaks.

The current US administration's wrong words and deeds on virus origin tracing reflect that in essence "America is back" is essentially no different from the exceptionalism of "America first".

While the Biden administration is trying to pretend that "America is back" embraces multilateralism, it is only "back" among its allies as it needs their support to put "America first".

By politicizing the pandemic and vilifying China, the Biden administration is doing the same disservice to the world that its predecessor did.

That's why 60 countries have voiced their opposition to its attempts to politicize the origin tracing research. At a time when global infections with the virus are approaching 200 million, it is time that the US gave up its zero-sum mentality and really came back, so countries can work together to bring an end to the pandemic.

In his inauguration address, Biden called for the US people to unite to "fight the common foes we face", and he listed these as anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness; not other countries. And he pledged that the US will be "a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security". The world, especially the developing world, is still waiting for his administration to demonstrate that.

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