dervis106_BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIAFP via Getty Images_biden Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Can Biden Save the World?

An administration led by the Democratic challenger could pursue a concerted US effort to renew multilateralism and reverse the trend toward a starkly divided world of great-power rivalry. At a time of unprecedented global challenges, such an outcome would benefit all, including China.

WASHINGTON, DC – The outcome of the US presidential election on November 3 will have momentous consequences for America in terms of economic policy, racial justice, the judiciary, health care, and the overall quality of its democracy. But the election’s international effects could be equally far-reaching and lasting. In particular, can a victory for the Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, prevent a dangerous great-power confrontation and usher in a new era of global cooperation?

If President Donald Trump were re-elected, he would not necessarily seek more confrontations abroad during his second term. On the contrary, as Trump’s electoral incentive for hardline posturing diminished, he might become less hawkish, notably toward China, and pursue “economic deals” whenever possible.

In fact, the Trump administration’s grandstanding about “values” and human rights may cease altogether. After all, the president is perfectly comfortable with autocrats, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent lambasting of China for human-rights abuses was more electoral theater than evidence of moral conviction.

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