Feb 10, 2021 - World

Biden announces new Pentagon task force on China

Biden at the Pentagon, being introduced by Sec. Lloyd Austin. Photo;Alex Brandon/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty

President Biden used a visit to the Pentagon on Wednesday to announce a new department-wide task force to "chart a strong path forward on China-related matters."

Why it matters: Biden is emphasizing early in his tenure that China will be a top priority.

What he's saying: Biden said the task force would review U.S. "strategy and operation concepts, technology, force posture" and more to produce policy recommendations within a few months.

  • He emphasized the importance of working with Congress and America's global partners to maintain security in the Indo-Pacific and put the U.S. in a strong position to compete with China.
  • The task force will be led by Ely Ratner, a senior adviser to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is well-regarded by China security specialists on both sides of the aisle, according to the WSJ, which first broke the news of the task force.

Between the lines: Top Biden administration officials sound remarkably similar to their Trump-era predecessors when it comes to China, though they've criticized his go-it-alone approach to the issue.

The state of play: Virtually all of former President Trump's China policies remain in place for the time being, though the administration says it is reviewing the existing tariffs and other policies.

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