Democracy Under Threat: Blinken Cites Freedom Report in 1st Speech

Blinken said authoritarianism and nationalism are on the rise around the world.

2 min read
File photo of Antony Blinken.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Wednesday, 3 March, said authoritarianism and nationalism are on the rise around the world and that governments are becoming less transparent and losing people's trust.

Blinken, in his maiden foreign policy speech, said the latest report 'Freedom in the World 2021' by US-based noted think tank Freedom House shows democracy is under threat.

According to the annual report, India has fallen from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free’ status, stating that political rights and civil liberties in the country have deteriorated since PM Narendra Modi took over in 2014.

“We will renew democracy because it’s under threat. A new report from the independent watchdog group Freedom House, is sobering.”
Antony Blinken

The report also said that even though the United States is still considered 'free', the country experienced further democratic decline during the final year of the Trump presidency.

"The more we and all democracies can show the world that we can deliver not only for our people, but also for each other the more we can refute the lie that authoritarian countries love to tell that theirs is the better way to meet people's fundamental needs and hopes. It's on us to prove them wrong," PTI quoted him as saying.

In his speech, Blinken also pointed out how the relationship of US with China will be a key focus in the Biden administration.

“Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should, be collaborative when it can be and adversarial when it must be. The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength. That requires working with allies and partners, not denigrating them because our combined weight is much harder for China to ignore.”

Who Is Antony Blinken?

Antony Blinken served as Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor when the latter was Vice President in the Obama administration.

Born in New York, 58-year-old Blinken practised law briefly and entered politics in the late 1980s. He had helped Democrat Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign raise money, reported Reuters. Following this, Blinken joined Democratic President Bill Clinton’s White House as a speechwriter and became one of his national security aides.

Blinken was elevated to the post of Deputy Secretary of State in the second term of the Obama administration, following which, he co-founded WestExec Advisors, a political strategy firm, with a top Obama-era Pentagon official, Michèle A. Flournoy , reported Bloomberg.

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