The Washington Post, Jackson Diehl, 1/31/2021
“For the past four decades, U.S. presidents have wrestled with the question of ‘democracy promotion’ — that is, where and how to encourage free speech, free assembly and free elections in other nations. President Biden will be the first executive since the middle of the 20th century to face an entirely different and far graver challenge: preventing democracy from succumbing to autocracy as the dominant form of human governance….
“The first step is understanding and embracing the challenge. The good news is that Biden and his incoming national security team have done that. In their confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines readily agreed with Republicans about the threat from Beijing, reflecting an appropriate sea change from the Obama administration, in which both served. Under Xi Jinping, Blinken said, China is ‘making clear that they seek to become, in effect, the leading country in the world, the country that sets the norms and standards and puts forth a model that they hope other countries and peoples will ascribe to.’ That model, he said, is ‘inimical to our own interests….'”