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America may be ‘back’ in Europe, but how much has really changed?

FALMOUTH, England — Few pictures can better capture transatlantic relations than President Donald J. Trump in 2018 bowed as he opposed Prime Minister Angela Merkel and disappointed leaders in his efforts to salvage. Their summit in Canada.

When the same leader meets again in Cornwall, England, on Friday, Biden will reverse his body language. Replace the dead end with embrace but under that picture It is not clear whether the United States How much more open to give and take with Europe than it has been under Mr Trump?

Transatlantic partnerships are less interactive than agents always want to pretend. That was the marriage in which one of its partners, the United States, held the nuclear umbrella. Now, when China replaces the USSR as America̵

7;s main rival, The two sides became less unified during the Cold War. The geopolitical shift revealed a long-standing strain between them.

So the pending question arose about the seven industrialized nations on Friday: will this show of solidarity be more than a diplomatic pantomime — reassurance Europeans? traumatized by policy Trump’s “America First”, but they will be disappointed when they realize United States under Mr Biden Still going in my own way?

“America’s foreign policy has not fundamentally changed,” said Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. “It’s more collaborative and inclusive. But for the most part it’s the same.”

“Like all leaders,” he added. “Biden puts his country first. The way he succeeds is what distracts a lot of people.”

Few Europeans question the sincerity of expanding his work. More than his former boss, Barack Obama, Biden is an Atlantic. with decades of involvement in European concerns from the Balkans to Belfast.

on thursday He joined Prime Minister Boris Johnson to unveil the new Atlantic Charter. It is modeled after a post-World War II blueprint signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

At the first face-to-face meeting Mr Biden and Mr Johnson anticipate solidarity. They have pledged their country to provide hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to developing countries.

“I would disagree with the president on that or anything else,” Mr Johnson said. After Mr Biden said that both he and the newly married prime minister had “Married above our station”

But the president has taken a more proactive approach with China as his foreign policy leader. American officials are seeking European support for such efforts. Analysts say their expectations are limited. Due to the commercial interests of Germany and other countries and the fact that Mrs. Merkel and other Europeans It has shown no desire for a new Cold War with Beijing.

“The Biden administration is committed to being polite,” said Jeremy Shapiro, who worked in the Obama Intergovernmental Department and is now Biden’s director of research. intend to listen to them And then it will do everything planned to do. European Council on International Relations in London

“It doesn’t matter what US policy. What will happen to Europe?” Shapiro said, concluding what he said was the prevailing view in the administration. “We will take the same amount. with them from China.”

Doubts go both ways. Many European officials viewed Biden’s declaration that “America is back” with jaundice no matter how well-intentioned Due to the attack on the US Capitol building and other threats to American democracy Not to mention Mr Trump’s seizure of power over the Republican Party.

“We are living in an era of diminishing trust,” said Wolfgang Ishinger, former German ambassador to the United States. Conductor of the Munich Security Conference Said by Mr. Biden, who used to be a regular speaker.

He said the Germans used to think the transatlantic alliance was not so important if the president was a Democrat or a Republican. “We are faced with a new question for the first time in 70 years: What will happen if the resurrected Trump reappears on stage?”

White House officials have carefully choreographed the journey to make Mr Biden’s trip a summer festival of Allied Repair. but in Washington Analysts say personnel movements show a more marginal role for Europe.

The White House has appointed prominent officials to coordinate Indo-Pacific and Middle East policies in the National Security Council. There are no parties for Europe. And the administration has not made diplomatic appointments, such as the NATO ambassador or ambassador, to deal with Northern Ireland.

Biden welcomed the leaders of Japan and South Korea at the White House. Although there is no major European leader yet.

before traveling to England A senior American diplomat expressed frank concerns about Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator. On how the UK handles post-Brexit trade tensions in Northern Ireland

Russia has limited expectations as well. Although Biden will meet with President Vladimir V. Putin next week in Geneva. Relations between Washington and Moscow began to deteriorate sharply in the first months of the administration as the US Faced with Russian hacking operations Evidence of continued Russian interference in the 2020 presidential campaign and the consolidation of Putin’s military presence on the Russian border with Ukraine.

The arrest of Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny three days before Biden’s inauguration. It determines the tension that will arise.

Far from the “reset button” Mr. Biden famously announced in 2009 while serving as Obama’s vice president. His meeting with Mr Putin appears to be designed largely to cover up tensions with the habitually fractured Russia. So both sides can avoid it. Conflicts that could hinder Mr Biden’s domestic agenda

Given what analysts said, Putin’s calculations that Russia benefited from sowing instability. They questioned how successful Mr Biden would be. Europe’s proximity to Russia and Germany’s dependence on natural gas. This means that instability will pose a greater threat to Europe than the United States.

“The problem with China is that it’s not our neighbor. But it’s a neighbor of the United States,” said Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House. Thinker in London “Russia is a neighbor of Europe. And that reality complicates it. but only to the extent that the United States only want to adjust the temperature to rise.”

Executive zigzag course in Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany. has left some places in Europe scratching their heads. Biden openly opposes the pipeline as a But Mr Blinken recently declined to impose sanctions on those behind the $11 billion project, saying the project’s success was a “bad idea”.

Mr. Biden’s pre-tour European turnaround appears to be calculated to avoid a rift with Germany, a key ally. but in the UK Which is harder to use resistance against Russia than Germany. Some officials said they were worried the decision would give Mr Putin the courage. and weakening the eastern borders of Ukraine.

Although the difference across the North Atlantic Ocean is significant, China Officials on both sides say Europe is gradually moving in the direction of Mr. Biden Last month, the European Parliament held for the ratification of a key investment treaty between Brussels and Beijing. That follows Beijing’s sanctions of 10 EU politicians, in what Europeans see as a superior response to sanctions imposed by China on its detention of the Uighur minority in Xinjiang.

The United Kingdom has turned in line with the United States in China. It has restricted access to Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s 5G networks, but analysts warn that the shift comes as less of a change of mind about Beijing than a post-Brexit desire not to step aside from its most important ally.

Some in Europe argue that Biden’s Chinese policy is not yet fully formed. It noted that there was no shortage of diplomatic pantomimes at the stormy meeting Mr Blinken held in March with Chinese officials in Alaska.

European perspectives may have evolved as well. Upon the passing of Ms. Merkel, who believed in China’s involvement After 16 years in office and French President Emmanuel Macron faces a tough election campaign next year.

“The EU’s stance on China has been hardened as a result of human rights issues,” said Simon Fraser, a former senior official at the British Foreign Ministry. “I wonder if there are many similarities. Although different national interests play a role.”

Still, some Europeans were disappointed by Biden’s ideological competition with China. which is the fateful battle between democracy and dictatorship which the dictator may win

For a leader like Ms. Merkel, who sells millions of Volkswagens and BMWs in China. This relationship is driven by trade and technology. It is not a potential military clashes in the South China Sea.

“There are profound mental problems at play,” said Thomas Wright, director of the Center for Europe and the United States at the Brookings Institute in Washington. “Some Europeans believe that the United States Thinking too much about the Cold War and ready to go back and do that.”

Of course, this was the first time. of the presidency of Mr Biden Analysts said he had recalibrated his messages about China and Russia two months ago. When he told Congress that Chinese President Xi Jinping thought “democracy cannot compete with authoritarian regimes in the 21st century”.

Charles A. Kupchan, Professor at Georgetown University The Obama administration, who works on European affairs in the Obama administration, said Biden’s aim was to build a China-Russia group against the West. That would require the help of a partner. That is why he predicted that Mr Biden would not only listen. but also heard Europeans

“Efforts to find geopolitical boundaries will not find much support from America’s allies,” Kupchan said.

Biden appeared to be sensitive to these concerns in an op-ed column in the Washington Post on Sunday. In summary, his goal for the trip He spoke out against the dictatorship of China. But he wrote that the United States And can the alliance face a rather dire challenge: “Can democracy come together to deliver real results for our people in a rapidly changing world?”

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