The meeting between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom and President Joe Biden at the White House on June 8, 2023, is a new chapter in the continuous story of Western supremacy in world affairs. These leaders aimed to strengthen the transatlantic alliance and increase their influence over world affairs through their similar views on Ukraine and a focus on economic cooperation. This critical study examines the meeting’s overarching goal, summarizes its conclusions, and considers the implications in light of existing alliances and global power relations. We may better comprehend how this gathering upholds the Western world’s dominance of international relations by analyzing the role of China, India, and Russia.
Prime Minister Sunak’s trip to the White House was intended to fortify the cooperation between the United Kingdom and the United States and to maintain Western dominance in world affairs. Sunak profited from his solid leadership and effective collaboration on divisive matters like the Ukraine and Northern Ireland. President Biden applauded this strengthening of the Western alliance and understanding and its position as the standard-bearer of the free world because he praised the historical connection between British and American leaders.
The meeting began with thanks for their cooperation on Ukraine, a significant concern that supports the Western narrative against Russia. President Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to providing Ukraine with the required financing, demonstrating steady Western determination and expressing confidence in Congress’ support. Announcing the need for a comprehensive probe into recent events and restating the UK’s unshakable financial and military support for Ukraine, Prime Minister Sunak repeated this viewpoint.
During the meeting, economic priorities took precedence over security concerns. The UK should be positioned as a global leader in the development and regulation of artificial intelligence (AI), according to Prime Minister Sunak, who also called for stronger supply chains, greater investment ties, and other initiatives. President Biden expressed interest in the possibilities of AI while highlighting the need for cautious navigation, recognizing potential risks, and underlining the significance of safeguards.
By utilizing the transatlantic alliance and influencing global dynamics, the Biden-Sunak conference tried to showcase the Western upperhand in world affairs which has been challenged by the rising powers over the last 20 years and so. The US-UK alliance’s reaffirmation highlights their adherence to common Western values and democratic principles, strengthening their capacity to influence and address global concerns. The West emphasizes the importance of democratic alliances and multilateral cooperation as the preferred method of achieving stability and progress by serving as an example for other countries.
The effects of this summit, however, go beyond bilateral ties and have significant effects on important international powers, including China, India, and Russia. China keeps a careful eye on the changes in the US-UK relationship, especially the UK’s ambitions to take the lead in AI regulation and development. This endeavor clearly contradicts China’s goals, has an effect on the market, and may change the distribution of international trade, innovation, and geopolitical power.
India, a significant participant in the Indo-Pacific, evaluates the strengthened US-UK alliance in light of its own regional ties and objectives. India carefully calibrates its strategic calculations, balancing connections with the US, the UK, and other regional nations. India’s approach to regional dynamics, particularly in relation to China, may be influenced by the conclusions of the Biden-Sunak conference as it negotiates the difficulties of retaining its own position, as a net security provider, in the face of Western alliance.
A critical factor to take into account is how Russia will react to the planned counteroffensive and the increase in military help to Ukraine. The responses taken by Russia in light of the strengthened US-UK alliance may have profound effects on the geopolitical environment as a whole, including relations with NATO and the European Union. The Biden-Sunak encounter could affect how Russia views the steadfastness and unity of Western states, potentially affecting its strategic considerations and responses. It is crucial to remember that the continued dominance of the West in world affairs is not without drawbacks and ramifications.
While the Biden-Sunak conference tried to demonstrate the Western alliance, it also raises questions about the sustainability of an unequal international system. According to critics, Western dominance, which has its roots in historical colonialism and imperialism, exacerbates power disparities and silences the voices and interests of non-Western states. This gathering may be interpreted as an effort to uphold Western hegemony rather than promoting a more open and just international order given its emphasis on strengthening Western alliances and influencing global dynamics.
The meeting’s focus on AI regulation and development also highlights the West’s determination to maintain technological dominance. This strategy may widen the gap between those who have access to advanced technology and those who do not, aggravating existing global disparities and reducing opportunities for cooperation and mutual gain.
The Biden-Sunak conference supports Western allieance, which shifts dynamics and responses and compels other international players to reevaluate their stances and tactics. China, which already competes with the US on a geopolitical level, keeps a careful eye on the growing US-UK partnership and how it may affect its own aspirations. China might retaliate by stepping up attempts to increase its influence, especially in areas where Western dominance is being contested or questioned.
India, on the other hand, must carefully manage its relations with both the US and the UK while taking into account its partnerships and regional interests. India may try to express its own interests and form alliances that support its objectives as long as Western dominance persists, thereby expanding its strategic engagements beyond a strong reliance on Western countries.
The way Russia reacts to the strengthened US-UK alliance will depend on how it evaluates the resolve of the West and its own geopolitical calculations. To counteract the perceived Western alliance, it can further push its influence in its perimeter or seek for new alliances. Russia’s actions may have consequences that affect not only regional dynamics but also the whole world order.
The Biden-Sunak meeting raises significant concerns about the continuation of an unfair global system and the exclusion of non-Western voices while also solidifying Western alliance in international affairs. Other key players like China, India, and Russia will act and adjust their plans in response to the strengthening of Western alliances. It is ambiguous how these power relations will influence world politics in the future or whether any steps will be taken to allay worries about Western alliance and promote a more inclusive and just international order.
[Photo by Prime Minister’s Office, via Wikimedia Commons]
Syed Raiyan Amir is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs. He was a Research Assistant at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and International Republican Institute (IRI). The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.