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Pompeo’s China Containment Policy Carries Over into Biden Administration

Jan. 30 , 2021 (EIRNS)—U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan indicated during remarks to the U.S. Institute of Peace yesterday that the policy of geopolitical containment of China that was the hallmark of then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will carry over into the Biden Administration. Sullivan reported that the Biden Administration aims to transform the “Quad” of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India into something more than the informal security relationship that exists today. He said the administration “really wants to carry forward” the work started under President Donald Trump, i.e. Pompeo’s policy of confrontation. In recent months, the four nations—United States, Japan, India and Australia—have conducted joint military exercises, with promises to hold more in the future. One issue complicating an expansion of the arrangement, reports U.S. Naval Institute News, is Japan’s post-World War II constitution, which limits military activity beyond homeland defense.

Speaking on the same panel was Robert O’Brien, Trump’s last national security advisor, who clearly was endorsing building up the Quad as a “counterweight” to China. He claimed that “the number-one geopolitical challenge to the United States is China.” He called Beijing “increasingly nationalistic” with its crackdown on pro-democracy dissent in Hong Kong and Muslim Uighurs in western China. It also has “unrelenting global ambitions” stretching from the South China Sea to the Arctic.

In the South China Sea, meanwhile, the U.S. Pacific Command issued a statement yesterday saying that Chinese military exercises near Taiwan, earlier this week, were no threat to the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier strike group which entered the region a few days ago. “The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group closely monitored all People’s Liberation Army Navy and Air Force activity, and at no time did they pose a threat to U.S. Navy ships, aircraft, or sailors,” the statement said. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the Chinese aircraft did not come within 250 nautical miles of the U.S. Navy vessels. At the same time, the statement said that the Chinese exercises fit a pattern of destabilizing and aggressive behavior by Beijing.

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