World Knowledge Forum

Chey Institute for Advanced Studies has organized a special session at the World Knowledge Forum, a global forum hosted by the Maekyung Media Group, since 2017. The 2017 session was titled “Endgame: A Hard Debate on North Korean Nuclear Threat.” In 2018, the special session was organized under the title, “After the Singapore Summit.” The 2019 session focused on the topic of “Northeast Asia Amid Geopolitical Risks”, which identified geopolitical challenges that threaten the region’s security. Panelists included Marc KNAPPER (U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan), Victor CHA (Korea Chair at Center for Strategic and International Studies), Vincent BROOKS (former Commander of USFK), JIA Qingguo (Professor at Peking University), and Joseph YUN (former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy). The session was moderated by PARK In-kook (President, Chey Institute).

Is America Back? – Assessing the Biden Administration’s Restoration of Global Leadership

Beginning his presidency, President Biden echoed his promise to “repair the alliance and engage with the world once again” against accelerating global challenges, sending a clear message that “America is back” and so is diplomacy. After four bruising years of the isolationism and disregard for multilateralism under the Trump administration, the international society has naturally welcomed his pledge as it indicates a sharp break from his predecessor’s ‘America First’ policy.

While his rhetoric has won enthusiastic praise from many parts of the world, it is true that doubts linger on whether the Biden administration can restore the US as a staying global power and take the lead again in addressing common challenges such as climate change, advancing authoritarianism, the coronavirus pandemic, etc. The suspicion over America’s international re-engagement got stronger after the recent US chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is causing the start of terrorist attacks not to mention of the refugee problem and the rollback of women’s rights. Furthermore, divided American politics is expected to constraint Biden’s efforts trying to respond to the global challenges more vigirously.

On top of that, some of Biden’s trade policies represent a continuity with his predecessor’s: just the turn from ‘America First’ to ‘Buy America.’ President Biden signed two executive orders to support the US manufacturing and enhance the US supply chain on key technologies. Above all, it remains vague whether Washington could lead its allies to make a united response to its era-defining clash with Beijing, as most of them find themselves dependent on China for trade and try to draw a line more delicately.

Against this backdrop, this session aims to answer the question - Is America REALLY back? – by finding out where the Biden administration stands on what he has promised. What has Biden achieved so far in terms of his pledge trying to restore the US global leadership? What are the future challenges that he has to overcome to reassure the world of America’s return to global stage? Speakers from the US allies in Asia and Europe will provide their assessment on these questions.

Dates : 2021.09.15

Venue : Shilla Hotel, Dynasty A

Participants

  • SOHN Jie-ae, Ewha Womans University
  • John IKENBERRY, Princeton University
  • Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister, Sweden
  • Esko Aho, Former Prime Minister, Finland
  • LEE Sook Jong, Sungkyunkwan University



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