Biden Announces Pentagon Task Force to Review U.S. Policy Toward China

Feb 15, 2021

by ASME.org

President Biden has announced a 15-member task force to review U.S. policy toward China, specifically focusing on Chinese technology and intelligence, U.S. alliances and partnerships in Asia, and an overall assessment of the U.S. defense strategy towards China. The task force is slated to deliver policy recommendations to the White House within the next four months, though the Pentagon does not anticipate that those recommendations will be made public.
 
The announcement comes after President Biden made a visit to the Pentagon to thank service members and highlight the confirmation of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. During his visit, President Biden said that charting a strong path forward in China-related matters “will require a whole-of-government efforts, bipartisan cooperation in Congress, and strong alliances and partners. That is how we will meet the China challenge and ensure the American people win the competition of the future.”
 
The task force will be led by Ely Ratner, former deputy national security adviser to Biden and now a special assistant to Secretary Austin.
 
President Biden has also directed policy reviews of tariffs imposed on Chinese goods during the Trump administration, as well as previous efforts to block or force the sale of assets by technology companies including ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and the Tencent Holdings chat platform WeChat.
 
These moves come as President Biden seeks to reexamine U.S. policy towards China in light of former President Trump’s largely confrontational approach, though both the current and former President have chosen to focus on China as a major facet of their foreign policy.
 

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