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Biden beefs up administration with Asia experts as the U.S. prepares to take on China

President Joe Biden has beefed up his foreign policy team with several experts on Asia — a move analysts said signals renewed efforts to raise U.S. standing in a region where China’s influence is growing. The Biden administration has identified a rising and more assertive China as one of its biggest foreign policy challenges, and stressed the importance of allies in responding to the strategic competition posed by Beijing.

Some analysts singled out the appointment of Kurt Campbell as the National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific affairs coordinator as affirming Biden’s intent to focus more on the region and strengthen relations with allies there. Indo-Pacific broadly refers to the region that lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, bordered by Japan, India and Australia.

Campbell is familiar to many governments in Asia, having served as assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs under former President Barack Obama. He was widely credited for the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia — a strategy seen faltering during Donald Trump’s term. Along with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security advisor Jake Sullivan, Campbell is expected to play a major role in forming the Biden administration’s policy on Asia and — in particular — China.

While the Biden administration has not laid out a foreign policy blueprint for Asia, Campbell offered some insights in an article he co-wrote for Foreign Affairs magazine last month. The article was published on Jan. 12, a day before news of Campbell’s appointment was released and roughly a week before Biden was sworn in. It said the Indo-Pacific region faces two “specific” challenges: The rise of China’s economy and military, as well as a retreating U.S.

Biden beefs up administration with Asia experts as the U.S. prepares to take on China, CNBC, Feb 5

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