President Joe Biden will say in his United Nations address on Tuesday that the United States is opening a chapter of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and partners to deal with a host of challenges such as China, while denying any intention to start a new "Cold War," according to a senior U.S. official.
Coinciding with the high-level week of the annual U.N. General Assembly, Biden will host the first in-person Quad summit with three other major Indo-Pacific democracies -- Japan, Australia and India -- at the White House on Friday and meet bilaterally with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and other leaders, the administration official said Monday.
Foreign ministers from the United States, Japan and South Korea are also traveling to New York to attend the U.N. event. Washington is "very much looking forward" to a trilateral meeting to discuss regional security issues including those posed by North Korea, a State Department official said in a separate teleconference, without elaborating.
It will be the first U.N. General Assembly address for Biden, who took office in January. He is apparently hoping to underscore a shift from his predecessor Donald Trump's "America First" policies that have been widely seen as undermining alliances, multilateralism and international organizations.
But the Biden administration has also faced criticism recently from allies rankled by the chaotic U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to end the 20-year war, as well as a recently announced security partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia over nuclear-powered submarines.
Biden's speech at the U.N. headquarters in New York will center "on the proposition that we are closing the chapter on 20 years of war, and opening a chapter of intensive diplomacy by rallying allies and partners and institutions to deal with the major challenges of our time," the senior administration official said.
He said the challenges include the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, emerging technologies, high-standard infrastructure investments and "vigorous competition with great powers."
Biden will also communicate that "he does not believe in the notion of a new 'Cold War' with the world divided into blocs," the official said, adding the president believes in "vigorous, intensive, principled competition that does not tip over into conflict."
Biden will meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in New York on Tuesday before returning to the U.S. capital where he will hold bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson later in the day.
On Friday, the president will have bilateral meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as with Suga on the sidelines of the Quad meeting.
The face-to-face bilateral talks between Biden and Suga will likely be the last in their respective positions, as the Japanese prime minister has decided to step down after just one year in office amid mounting criticism over his pandemic response.