Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday began a week-long visit to “woo” leftist leaders in Colombia, Chile, and Peru.
A press briefing from the State Department last week outlines the travel plans and an itinerary that uses the word ‘commitment’ a dozen times.
Reuters describes the diplomatic effort as a means to “woo” the leftist leaders and assure they remain a priority of the administration, even in the face of other world events such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and China’s threat to Taiwan.
“U.S. officials acknowledge privately the need to show the United States’ southern neighbors they remain a policy priority,” they write.
Those same officials express hope that these leaders will suppress their socialist leanings through actions and “will not govern as ideological firebrands and instead continue to maintain a free-enterprise-friendly approach and nurture U.S. ties.”
When questioned about the effort to “woo” these leftist leaders, Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols assured Americans that Blinken was not focused on pushing a specific political ideology.
“We are not judging countries based on where they fall on the political spectrum but rather their commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and human rights,” Nichols told reporters.
“And I would note that we are also visiting three countries that have been longtime vital trade partners of the United States, countries with free trade agreements with the United States, countries with long histories of exchange with the United States.”
Blinken’s trip to Latin America comes amidst concerns that China has expanded in the region and, experts say, doing so while the U.S. has neglected these countries.
“Experts have warned that the U.S. should not only be concerned but also take immediate action to compete on the same ground as it represents its own hemisphere where it must strategically act before China becomes more entrenched,” Fox News reports.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised eyebrows last week when he offered “congratulations” to the people of China on Republic of China National Day.
“On the occasion of the 73rd People’s Republic of China National Day, I offer my congratulations to the people of China on behalf of the United States of America,” Blinken said in a statement.
His comments came not long after President Biden said the United States military would defend Taiwan should China invade, something his handlers would later walk back.
Earlier this year, Blinken did not “woo” Taiwan and reaffirm the administration’s commitment to democracy there, instead stating America does not support their independence.
“The United States remains committed to our One China Policy,” Blinken said. “We do not support Taiwan independence.”
Meanwhile, they’ve allowed China to expand in our own backyard.
“Blinken will aim to solidify U.S. partnerships in the face of an increasingly ambitious China that has been expanding its economic footprint across the resource-rich region, which was once Washington’s geopolitical backyard,” Reuters reports.
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