chellaney134_XinhuaLan Hongguang via Getty Images_biden xi Xinhua/Lan Hongguang via Getty Images

Where Biden Should Be More Like Trump

Donald Trump's tough China policy is his most consequential – and constructive – foreign-policy legacy. Unless President Joe Biden pursues a similar approach, the erosion of US global leadership will become inexorable.

NEW DELHI – In his inaugural address, US President Joe Biden declared that Americans “will be judged” for how they “resolve the cascading crises of our era.” He expressed confidence that the country would “rise to the occasion,” and pledged that the United States would lead “not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”

The contrast with President Donald Trump’s divisive, isolationist rhetoric could not be sharper. But adopting a different tone is easier than reversing America’s relative decline. To do that, Biden will need to provide wise, forward-looking leadership. And that does not necessarily mean breaking with everything that Trump did.

America’s debilitating political polarization has undermined its international standing. Partisan considerations have hampered – even precluded – the pursuit of long-term foreign-policy objectives. US policy toward a declining Russia, for example, has become hostage to US domestic politics.

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