Joe Biden will make his first overseas trip as president to the United Kingdom.

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Joe Biden will make his first overseas trip as president to the United Kingdom.

Joe Biden is eager to use his first abroad trip as president to reassert the US on the global arena, reassuring European friends frightened by his predecessor and promoting democracy as the sole counterweight to increasing authoritarian forces.

Mr. Biden has set the bar high for his eight-day trip, thinking that as the world recovers from the coronavirus outbreak, the West must openly demonstrate that it can compete economically with China.

Mr Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One for Wednesday’s flight that the trip is about demonstrating to China and Russia’s leaders that the US and Europe are “close.”

In the run-up to his trip-ending meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vice President Joe Biden will try to convince European capitals that the US can once again be counted on as a reliable ally to counter Moscow’s aggressiveness on both the eastern front and the cyber battlefields.

The focus of the trip will be on message rather than specific acts or transactions.

And Mr. Biden’s first task is to persuade the globe that his Democratic government is not just a blip on the radar of an American foreign policy that many friends worry has irreversibly shifted toward a transactional approach under former President Donald Trump.

“At its core, the trip will advance Joe Biden’s foreign policy goal of rallying the world’s democracies to confront the grave problems of our time,” said national security advisor Jake Sullivan.

Mr. Biden’s to-do list is extensive.

Mr. Biden wants to use their face-to-face meeting in Geneva to privately pressure Mr. Putin to end a slew of provocations, including Russian-based hackers’ cyberattacks on US businesses, the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and repeated overt and covert attempts by the Kremlin to meddle in US elections.

Mr. Biden is also hoping to rally partners behind his Covid-19 response and persuade them to unite behind a policy to counter burgeoning economic and national security rival China, even as the US voices concern about Europe’s economic ties to Moscow.

Mr. Biden is also interested. (This is a brief piece.)

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