US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have signed a new Atlantic Charter on the eve of the G7 summit in the United Kingdom. The agreement and the related joint statement by the two heads of state focus on communist China.
On June 10, Biden and Johnson signed the 1941 Atlantic Charter signed by then-US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a pledge to work together for peace and democracy when Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party was invading the European continent.
The new charter will now allow the allies to work together again to face the expansion of socialism with Chinese characteristics, while Beijing continues to challenge the international liberal democratic rule-based order.
“Our reviving Atlantic Charter, building on the commitments and aspirations set out eighty years ago, reaffirms our continued commitment to upholding and defending our lasting values against new and old challenges,” Biden and Johnson said in a statement. said. “We are committed to working closely with all partners who share our democratic values and to countering the efforts of those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions.”
As was the case with the 1941 Declaration, the new Atlantic Charter eight key areas set out in which the United States and the United Kingdom undertook to cooperate. These include the defense of the “principles, values and institutions of democracy and open societies” and human rights, freedom of navigation and the lawful use of the sea, and a commitment to open and fair trade between nations. Control over the environment and health were also mentioned among the eight important commitments.
The document did not name communist China by name, but it is clear that the commitments in the charter set out how the two countries intend to face the threats of Beijing together.
The commitments regarding human rights, the rule of law, the free press, fair trade, freedom of navigation, and the protection of the liberal West’s “innovative lead” in science and technology address the Chinese regime’s ongoing infringement of freedoms in Hong Kong, genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, as well as the increasing military aggression in the controversial South China Sea, the imposition of debt traps for countries involved in its belt and road initiatives, and the systematic theft of others’ intellectual property.
The Chinese communist regime reacted quickly on the same day to the new Atlantic Charter, which according to the government was action directed at Beijing. China’s state-run English media, Global Times, said the document “read the biggest trend of the time and could risk the destabilization of Europe.”
Biden and Johnson said in a joint statement that the new Atlantic Charter would deepen cooperation between the two countries on key areas. They stressed that the United States and the United Kingdom support a thorough investigation in the second phase into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically China.
“We will also support a timely, transparent and evidence-based independent process for the next phase of the WHO composite COVID-19 origin study, including in China, and to investigate future outbreaks of unknown origin,” the statement said.