- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Barack Obama promised “hope and change.” President Biden might outdo him by precipitating a “new world order.” That’s how international observers are labeling an emerging power bloc aiming for global domination. It is not American-made, but the work of China and Russia.

If the two axial powers have their way, not only will the United States not be head of the table, but the U.S. also won’t have a place at its far end.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spent two days last week visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The leaders of the world’s largest and most populous nations are said to have cemented an Asia-centric alliance meant to overtake the West as the world’s gravitational center.

“Now there are changes that haven’t happened in 100 years,” Mr. Xi reportedly told his Russian counterpart as he left. “When we are together, we drive these changes.”

The consequences of “these changes” lie in the future, but there is little doubt about their causes. The helter-skelter U.S. retreat from Afghanistan in 2021, compliments of Mr. Biden’s bobbled foreign policy, sent Mr. Putin a clear sign of American decline and a “go” for Russia’s Ukraine onslaught in 2022. Peace through strength is not simply a slogan, nor is its converse — conflict through weakness — as the Oval Office occupant has so tragically affirmed.

Mr. Biden’s hesitation in confronting China over its culpability in the Wuhan virus-caused deaths of 1.1 million Americans could serve only to apprise Mr. Xi of the U.S. president’s infirmity, at least in spirit. A leader who quails at the responsibility for seeking justice for his citizens — or even to secure his nation’s borders — plainly lacks the fortitude to lead. Fairly or not, Mr. Biden’s critics suspect that his willful blindness to misdeeds has been bought with Chinese yuan, which have reportedly enriched the Biden family.

Moreover, China is buying up influence where Mr. Biden’s bungles have undermined the historic stability that made the U.S. dollar the world’s reserve currency. The budding Russia-China rapport has already led Moscow to convert as much as 17% of its foreign reserves into the yuan.

Offering a hand of friendship that Mr. Biden withdrew, Mr. Xi charmed Saudi Arabia in December with a mutually beneficial oil and technology deal. China has also brokered a recent normalization of relations between the Saudis and Iran, which promises to ease tensions in the Middle East. Working the flanks of Europe, Mr. Xi is hosting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez this week for talks on economic relations and solutions to the war in Ukraine.

A recent Pew Research Center survey of young people ages 18 to 29 in Britain, France and Germany found majorities judging the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as handled “poorly,” and that “the U.S. is seen as the ‘world’s policeman’ with a self-interested history of interventionism that is disappointing to Western allies.”

While only a snapshot of opinion, the survey points to a youthful dissatisfaction with U.S. performance on the global stage that offers a foothold for a rising alternative. As President Biden bobbles, China and Russia appear intent on erecting a “new world order” that, sadly, has no place for America.

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