Biden is still asking for billions of dollars to spend on militarizing the Asia-Pacific region and encircling China. While the China-US summit in November was a good start, we’re a long way to building a sustainable and human-centered bilateral relationship where war is unlikely. Tell Biden we can’t afford one more penny on global aggression.
Dear President Joseph R. Biden,
You made an Oval Office address, during which you said, “American leadership is what holds the world together. American alliances are what keep us, America, safe.” In your more than fifty years of public service, however, the US has been involved in multiple wars. Currently, the US is occupying Syria, Iraq, Somalia in addition to supporting Israel’s siege and ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has dragged on with no effort dedicated to peace talks.
As your administration seeks $105 billion in military spending, it seeks to allocate $7.4 billion of that money for militarizing the Asia-Pacific region, including more weapons to Taiwan. That doesn’t even include the $10 billion for weaponizing Taiwan authorized by the US Senate last year. About $3.4 billion of your request is for building a base to host attack submarines targeting China. This is all on top of the $9.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative proposed by the Pentagon earlier this year.
Civil society organizations and environmentalists in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Japan, South Korea, and Guam have protested our military exercises and bases, which many say will make them the first casualties in a potential war. Military alliances don’t make them feel safe, and it is also taking away funds from targeting real threats like the climate crisis.
As we spend money on militarizing the region, it’s only made China more wary of cooperation. Yet, China is a natural ally in our fight against climate change. From Brooklyn to Beijing, extreme weather events are getting deadlier; 83 million more could die from climate-related disasters this century if we don’t limit global warming to 1.5° C by 2030. We implore you to strike a global climate finance deal.
Instead of tens of billions going to genocide in Gaza, war in Ukraine, and weapons systems in the Pacific, we must allocate resources to ensure a livable ecosystem. That kind of leadership is exactly what two-thirds of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2020 would like to see - leadership focused on the climate crisis. President Xi has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030. You have expressed support for $11 billion in climate finance by 2024. If we don’t fund war, we could spend what you proposed on protecting our planet and much more.