Biden will launch Pentagon review of China strategy which could open way to more troops
President Joe Biden is launching a new Defense Department task force on China that will take an overall look at the growing military and strategic rival of the U.S. – putting in place a scheme that could lead to a new national military posture.
He announced the move at the Pentagon – a signal to Beijing that the look will overarching and will include military and not just economic components of the U.S. posture.
The reexamination comes after four years of clashes with Beijing over economic policy and a trade war that featured tariffs and counter-tariffs.
President Joe Biden is launching a new Defense Department task force on China that will look at the U.S. diplomatic, military and economic posture
The task force will look at intelligence, technology as well as the U.S. the military footprint in the region.
It will include representatives of the joint staff and combatant commands as well as the intelligence community, a reflection of the areas upon which it will focus.
It will consist of 15 people, and will be tasked with presenting its findings in four months.
Speaking at the Pentagon for the first time as president along with new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Biden called for the U.S. to lead a new era of competition ‘from the deep sea to outer space’ – two areas where China is on the move.
‘And we need to meet the growing challenges posed by China to keep the peace and defend our interest in the indo-Pacific and globally,’ Biden said.
‘Today I was briefed on a new DOD–wide China Task Force and Secretary Austin is standing up to look at our strategy and operational concepts, technology and force posture and so much more.
‘The task force will work quickly, drawing on civilian and military experts across the department to provide within the next few months recommendations to … Austin on key priorities and decision points, so that we can chart a strong path forward on China related matters. It will require a whole government effort, bipartisan cooperation in Congress, and strong alliances and partnerships. That’s how we’ll meet the China challenge and ensure the American people win the competition in the future.’
Biden plans to make the announcement amid meetings with new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The moves comes days after Biden issued his most extensive public comments on China of his presidency in an interview with CBS where he cast China as a competitor.
‘There’s going to be extreme competition. And I’m not going to do it the way that he knows,’ Biden said of Chinese President Xi Jinping. ‘And that’s because he’s – sending signals as well. I’m not going to do it the way Trump did. We’re going to focus on international rules of the road,’ he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks on the political situation in Myanmar at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2021 before heading to the Pentagon Wednesday
Members of the British Royal Navy stand on the deck of the HMS Montrose frigate as it departs Harumi Pier for a joint exercise with Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy on March 14, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. The review will also examine U.S. alliances
The ‘USS Porter’ passes through the Dardanelles Strait in Canakkale, Turkey on August 8, 2019.
He also spoke of his experience meeting with the Chinese leader numerous times.
‘He’s very bright,’ Biden said of Xi. ‘He’s very tough. He doesn’t have – and I don’t mean it as a criticism, just the reality, he doesn’t have a democratic, small-D, bone in his body. But … the question is, I’ve said to him all along, that we need not have a conflict.’
Officials have described the task force as coordinating various U.S. government levers. They include economic, diplomatic, political and military areas, the Wall Street Journal reported.
China for decades has been considered a growing rival to the U.S., and its own leaders have designed elaborate strategies to carve out influence in the developing world; expand Chinese territorial claims; exert more control of special territories like Hong Kong; and continue its gains as a global military and economic power.
The Barack Obama administration also had to manage tensions with China, hosting Xi at the White House, while also using military and diplomatic efforts to push back Chinese assertions of territorial dominance in the region.
The task force will be chaired by Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Dr. Ely Ratner.
It will also examine the areas of strategy, force structure, the posture of U.S. forces, U.S. alliances, and defense relations with China.