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Letter: Diplomacy keeps our economy afloat — and enables U.S. to maintain its role on the world stage

A woman wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus sits near a screen showing China and U.S. flags as she listens to a speech by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Lanting Forum on bringing China-U.S. relations back to the right track, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the U.S. Monday to lift restrictions on trade and people-to-people contacts while ceasing what Beijing considers unwarranted interference in the areas of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Militarization was the name of the game in Donald Trump’s White House, often at the expense of diplomacy.

New president, new game plan.

Joe Biden is working on his budget proposal, and Democratic legislators are pleading for more money allocated to diplomatic and foreign aid.

The plan, proposed by Sens. Murphy and Van Hollen and Reps. Bera and Cicilline, is asking for $12 billion more for the State Department and other foreign aid, which would amount to a 20% in these programs’ budget. The reason? To get a diplomatic lead on China, rather than focusing exclusively on a military lead. China has doubled its diplomatic budget in the past decade, and as it is a rising superpower, it is more important now than it has ever been for the U.S. to engage in more diplomacy and expand aid to allies if it wants to stay on top.

This is a part of globalization.

We don’t need to have the biggest and baddest weapons anymore but, as the hegemon, the U.S. has the responsibility to keep global peace.

Utah needs China, and we need China on our good side. Selfish or not, we need to keep up our trade, both in terms of imports and exports. Utah exports over $1.3 billion worth of products and imports over $2.7 billion in product each year. Diplomacy is important. Diplomacy keeps our economy afloat, and militarization does not.

Erin Howey, North Salt Lake

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