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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.

Go deeper

New geopolitical fears surround 2022 Beijing Olympics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Global fears of China's authoritarian rise are overshadowing the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and sparking calls for a boycott.

Why it matters: By openly flouting human rights norms while claiming leadership of the international system, China is cracking the foundation upon which global traditions such as the Olympics are based.

Biden's shadow diplomats sweep back to power

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Members of President Biden's foreign policy brain trust are shifting back into the highest levels of government after spending the Trump era working together in many of the same powerful policy groups and lucrative business ventures.

Why it matters: The overlap points to a more coherent ideological approach to foreign policy than was evident in President Trump's notoriously fractious State Department. But there are some notable liabilities as well.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Feb 9, 2021 - Science

The Space Force's PR problem

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Gen. John Raymond — the head of space operations for the Space Force — said last week that the newest branch of the military is still searching for its footing when communicating its work to the public.

Why it matters: The Space Force — established by the Trump administration — has often been the butt of jokes, including a Netflix satire of the same name, but many in the space industry recognize its utility as the U.S. increasingly relies on space.