Joe Biden to appoint 'Indo-Pacific coordinator' to address concerns from China
- Campbell, a former top Pentagon official who also served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration and helped frame the “pivot to Asia”, is expected to join as the “Indo-Pacific coordinator”.
US president-elect Joe Biden is set to create a new position within the National Security Council (NSC) and appoint veteran foreign policy expert Kurt Campbell to focus on challenges emerging from China in the Indo-Pacific, according to media reports on Wednesday.
Campbell, a former top Pentagon official who also served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration and helped frame the “pivot to Asia”, is expected to join as the “Indo-Pacific coordinator”.
The job will give him “broad management over the NSC directorates that cover various parts of Asia and China-related issues", The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed Biden transition officials.
Campbell will report to incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and the NSC will have several “coordinators”, who will have more authority than the “senior directors” below them, The Post said.
Biden was considering creating the new position inside the White House “because of the rising importance attached to tackling a range of challenges from China”, the Financial Times reported.
A person familiar with the decision told the Financial Times that it was “partly taken because of the need to better integrate China policy across different government agencies with a veteran Asia expert at the helm”. The person added Biden “recognised that China was an issue that every government agency — not just the traditional foreign policy, defence and economic-related departments — would have to grapple with more than in the past”.
Campbell is considered to be close to both incoming secretary of state Antony Blinken and incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan. He is also seen as one of the more hawkish Democrats on China.
Earlier this month, Campbell and Rush Doshi, expected to be named China director in the NSC, wrote an article for Foreign Affairs magazine that said the US will have to build a coalition of allies and partners to address challenges from China in the Indo-Pacific.
“A strategy for the Indo-Pacific today would benefit from...the need for a balance of power; the need for an order that the region’s states recognize as legitimate; and the need for an allied and partner coalition to address China’s challenge to both. Such an approach can ensure that the Indo-Pacific’s future is characterized by balance and twenty-first-century openness rather than hegemony and nineteenth-century spheres of influence,” the article said.
In another article for Foreign Affairs in 2018, Campbell argued the US strategy of engaging China in the hope that it would liberalise and reform hadn’t worked.
“Neither carrots nor sticks have swayed China as predicted. Diplomatic and commercial engagements have not brought political and economic openness. Neither US military power nor regional balancing has stopped Beijing from seeking to displace core components of the US-led system. And the liberal international order has failed to lure or bind China as powerfully as expected. China has instead pursued its own course, belying a range of American expectations in the process,” that article said.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Herat provincial council member Mohammad Sardar Bahaduri confirmed the attack and said it was carried out by two Taliban fighters who had infiltrated the base.