Biden had already promised during the election campaign that democracy and human rights would be at the center if he won the election. The promised conference, which brings together both leaders from a number of different countries and organizations, may now bear fruit. For two days, the speakers almost beat each other with affirmations of all efforts made and those that must be made to ensure democracy.
The conference is all digital and Biden began by saying that the United States intends to provide financial assistance to countries around the world for democracy initiatives.
The President noted, “Here in the United States, we know like everyone else that renewing and strengthening our democratic institutions requires sustained effort.”
In polls listing the democratic status of countries in the world, the United States has slipped in recent years and been described as a “flawed democracy”, a flawed democracy. It started a few years ago but accelerated under Donald Trump. Attempts by the former president to annul the election and storm the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying election results and various attempts to restrict the right to vote are among those that have contributed to negative markings.
The issue of democracy is important before the elections
However, that’s not something Joe Biden and Democrats avoid talking about. On the contrary, it is a major election issue before the midterm elections in less than a year. Republicans are accused of trying to manipulate the electoral system through various legislative changes and corrections to the size of electoral districts. Many prominent Republican politicians still support Donald Trump, who did not concede defeat and claimed he lost due to advanced election fraud.
On Friday, it was also reported that another court had rejected Trump’s request that no documents from the White House, relating to the January 6 storming of the Capitol, be submitted to the Congressional investigation, which is questioning a number of people with knowledge of the course of events. Trump will appeal and the case can be taken to the Supreme Court in a few weeks.
With democracy problems evident at home, Joe Biden turned his eyes out at the democracy meeting. The invitations themselves had already stirred controversy in advance. Russia and China were not invited and the ambassadors of the two countries were harshly criticized in a joint letter. China developed the criticism by comparing it to Coca-Cola, whose recipes and ingredients may suit the United States but should not be the standard for the rest of the world. The fact that Taiwan was invited to the meeting added to the tension. A small democracy meeting was held at the same time as Indonesia and with China as welcome participants.
The American agenda is criticized
Hungary was among the countries that did not receive an invitation, while Pakistan, which was welcome, declined, citing previous criticism. On the Swedish side, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Foreign Minister Anne Lindh participated.
But the US agenda is exactly what critics focus on when they point out that the US – in addition to the campaign for democracy – wants the invited countries to participate in the established strategy with regard to Russia and China. . The United States does not want to stand alone when China and Russia are described and may be subject to more US sanctions.
It is a longstanding American approach to pressure other countries to stand by with the help of direct or indirect threats that trade relations and political communications may be adversely affected.
Joe Biden stresses that everyone is invited to discuss democracy issues. But at the same time, China and Russia assert their position outside the democratic system.
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