Hudson Institute held a video conversation with former Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken on U.S. foreign policy and America’s role in the world. Mr. Blinken offered his perspective on global challenges the United States faces and the trajectory of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy.
Hudson Institute’s distinguished fellow Walter Russell Mead moderated the event. As moderator, Walter Russel Mead noted that Blinken’s views have become increasingly important because former vice president Joe Biden’s victory in the November election has moved from “a possibility to a likelihood”.
Mead brought up areas of international policy which he referred to as hotspots and began first by asking about US-China policy. Mead asked how will Biden administration set themselves up when it comes to a relationship with China. Blinken said that China has strengthened its influences across the world and weakened the US over the past three and a half years. Blinker also touched upon how the US is at a strategic disadvantage at this time.
Blinken spoke about investment in the US’s own infrastructure and competency, and raised points regarding deficiencies in Trump administration policies, for example in trade, and said Biden administration will work from a position of strength and not weakness.
Blinken also responded to Mead’s questions regarding the position on Israel and Palestinians how they may better engage.
Mead raised the issue of Kashmir in the conversation, pointing out that India had some serious human rights and democracy issues, particularly with Muslims, in Kashmir and elsewhere. Blinken responded, and said that strengthening and deepening the relationship with India is going to be a high priority for Biden administration.
“We obviously have challenges now and real concerns, for example, about some of the actions the (Indian) government has taken, particularly in cracking down on freedom of movement and freedom of speech in Kashmir, and about some of the laws on citizenship,” said Blinken while responding to the moderator.
Commenting specifically on the Kashmir issue, Blinken said, “we have concerns regarding the freedom of movement in Kashmir, but, you are always better in engaging with a partner, and with a vitally important one like India, when you can speak frankly and directly about areas where you have differences, even as you are working to build a greater cooperation and strengthen relationship going forward,”.
Blinken said that this would be the Biden administration’s approach while discussing Kashmir and other issues with India because “we have seen evidence that it works”.
Joe Biden’s “Agenda for Muslim American Communities” published by his campaign speaks about India’s Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
Joe Biden’s Muslim agenda says:
“In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weaken democracy.
Joe Biden has been disappointed by the measures that the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act into law.
These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”
Cover Photo: Crush Rush / Shutterstock.com