President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, November 9, 2022.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt CNN  — 

It’s a story President Joe Biden tells at nearly every opportunity: last year, meeting his new counterparts at his first international summit, he proudly informed them, “America is back.”

“For how long?” one of them asked.

As Biden departs this week for a weeklong around-the-world trip, the question still resonates.

“They’re very concerned that we are still the open democracy we’ve been and that we have rules and the institutions matter,” Biden said Wednesday during a news conference.

Biden hopes his stops at a climate meeting here on the Red Sea, a gathering of Southeast Asian nations in Cambodia and a high-stakes Group of 20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali will assert American leadership in areas former President Donald Trump either ignored or actively shunned.

“If the United States tomorrow were to, quote, withdraw from the world, a lot of things would change around the world. A whole lot would change,” Biden said ahead of his trip.

He and his advisers believe they are entering the series of high-stakes meetings with a solid argument his version of the US role in the world will endure. He resisted historical and political headwinds in this year’s midt