NEW DELHI: At a time of multiple crises in the world, including pandemics, climate change, and cyber threats besides an increasingly assertive China, US President Joe Biden has said his country will strengthen partnerships with traditional allies and deepen ties with India.

In his “interim national security strategic guidance” made public overnight Thursday, Biden listed a series of challenges confronting America and the world currently, including those posed by China and Russia.

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“China, in particular, has rapidly become more assertive. It is the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system,” Biden said.

In the case of Russia, Biden said that Moscow “remains determined to enhance its global influence and play a disruptive role on the world stage. Both Beijing and Moscow have invested heavily in efforts meant to check US strengths and prevent us from defending our interests and allies around the world.”

In the face of these challenges as well as those posed by “regional actors” like Iran and North Korea who continue to “pursue game-changing capabilities and technologies,” as well as terrorism and violent extremism, Biden said that the US would “reinvigorate and modernize our alliances and partnerships around the world.”

“Our democratic alliances enable us to present a common front, produce a unified vision, and pool our strength to promote high standards, establish effective international rules, and hold countries like China to account. That is why we will reaffirm, invest in, and modernize the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and our alliances with Australia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea – which, along with our other global alliances and partnerships, are America’s greatest strategic asset,” he said. Responsibilities will be shared “equitably,” while “encouraging them to invest in their own comparative advantages against shared current and future threats,” he said.

Beyond these “core alliances,” the US will also focus on building partnerships throughout the world, “because our strength is multiplied when we combine efforts to address common challenges, share costs, and widen the circle of cooperation,” he said.

“We will deepen our partnership with India and work alongside New Zealand, as well as Singapore, Vietnam, and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, to advance shared objectives. Recognizing the ties of shared history and sacrifice, we will reinforce our partnership with Pacific Island states. We will recommit ourselves to our transatlantic partnerships, forging a strong, common agenda with the European Union and the United Kingdom on the defining issues of our time,” Biden said.

The “interim national security strategic guidance” comes six weeks after Biden was sworn in as president on 20 January. In the weeks in office since then, Biden has made calls to key partners in Europe and Asia besides countries sharing borders with the US.

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