Joe Biden’s likely secretary of state pick Antony Blinken sees China as a ‘common challenge’ for India, US | World News - Hindustan Times
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Joe Biden’s likely secretary of state pick Antony Blinken sees China as a ‘common challenge’ for India, US

Hindustan Times, Washington, DC | ByYashwant Raj
Nov 24, 2020 12:29 AM IST

Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, has been a front-runner for the position. He was also the Biden campaign’s chief foreign policy official

US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint Antony Blinken, a long-time national security and foreign policy expert who has been enthusiastic about ties with India and called China a “common challenge”, as his secretary of state, US media has reported.

US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens to journalists' questions during a news conference, at a hotel in Mexico City April 30, 2015.(REUTERS/ FILE)
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens to journalists' questions during a news conference, at a hotel in Mexico City April 30, 2015.(REUTERS/ FILE)

Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, had been a front-runner for the position of Biden’s top diplomat. He was also the Biden campaign’s chief foreign policy official.

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In an outreach to the Indian-American community in the run-up to the election - on August 15, to commemorate the Indian Independence Day - Blinken described China as a “common challenge”, taking into cognizance China’s “aggression” towards India at the Line of Actual Control.

Speaking generally of ties with India, he had said, “We will be an advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions and that includes helping India get a seat on… United Nations Security Council. We will work together to strengthen India’s defence.”

Blinken had gone on to reiterate long-running US commitment to combating terrorism, making common cause with India.

“We have no tolerance for terrorism in South Asia or anywhere else, cross-border or otherwise,” Blinken had said, adding, “We used every tool at our disposal to make sure that our citizens and the citizens of our partners are safe. And that’s something we will build on in a Biden administration.”

Outgoing President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat to Biden continued in the meantime. His campaign has challenged the dismissal of a lawsuit last weekend and removed a member of the legal team, Sidney Powell, who had made wild claims about election fraud and levelled corruption charges against Brian Kemp, the Republican governor of Georgia, a state that Trump lost in the 2020 contest.

Michigan board of canvassers is scheduled to vote on Monday to certify Biden’s victory by more than 154,000 votes. Its two Republican members can deadlock the four-member body by asking for a delay to audit the result, which could result in litigation or delays.

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