Published December 9, 2022
The Biden administration is justifiably upset about Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s state visit to Saudi Arabia this week. Combating China’s rising influence in the kingdom and throughout the Middle East will force the administration to do something it would much rather avoid: emphasize our material security interests over our moral interests.
The United States has always approached foreign policy differently than other nations because of its founding principles. It was one of the first nations in the world to explicitly dedicate themselves to ideas of democracy and human rights. While it took more than a century for the United States to really start pushing those values on other nations, it never hid its belief that American principles were human principles, applicable to all people everywhere.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.