President Joe Biden ordered the Pentagon to review the U.S. military’s entire policy toward China, saying the nation’s burgeoning efforts on the global stage require new strategy.
Biden made the announcement during his first visit to the Pentagon as president Wednesday. The order launches a Department of Defense China task force led by Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner, who is also a longtime Biden aide. The task force, which was first reported in the Wall Street Journal, will coordinate America’s military, economic, political and other capabilities to create an expansive plan to counter China, Biden said. (RELATED: Biden Needs To Make A Decision On China — Fast)
The task force will make recommendations within “the next few months” on how the U.S. should alter its policies toward China. One such area is China’s aggression in the South China Sea, where it makes claims of sovereignty outside international law and in conflict with its neighbors. The U.S. has long sent air craft carrier strike groups into the sea to curb China’s claims.
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The task force will also review the military’s technology and force posture with regard to China as well as America’s relevant alliances.
Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken have been aggressive in their language toward China, though they term the nation a “competitor” rather than an “adversary.” The Biden administration has also concurred with former President Donald Trump’s administration that the Chinese Communist Party’s actions in Xinjiang against Uighur Muslims amounts to genocide.
Biden visited the Pentagon hours after his administration announced new sanctions on various military officials in Burma following the military-led coup against the Democratically-elected government in January. The U.S. is also freezing the $1 billion aide it has sent to Burma on an annual basis.
“We’ll be ready to impose additional measures,” the president stated in closing. “And we’ll continue to work with our international partners to engage in these efforts.”