Joe Biden’s cabinet have been ‘aggressive’ to China says expert

Authorities in Beijing have not warmed to President Joe Biden’s new Cabinet because of several of those brought in having made “aggressive” comments on China. CNBC reporter Eunice Yoon said that despite official talk of a reset in diplomatic relations, the two sides remain deeply “suspicious” of one another. Figures such as the Director of National Security nominee Avril Haines and Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen raised eyebrows in Beijing with their vocal critics of Xi Jinping’s regime in recent weeks

Ms Yoon said: “Despite the official call for a reset, suspicions run very very deep.

“It has been noted not only by officials but also on social media that Biden’s cabinet choices have been very aggressive on their comments about China.

“For example, the Director of National Security Avril Haines has said she favours an aggressive stance on China.

“The incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that she would use all tools against China’s alleged abusive trade practices.” 

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She added: “Secretary of State choice Antony Blinken has also said he agreed with the assessment of his predecessor that China was committing genocide on its Muslim minority, the Uyghurs.

“So former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sanctioned by China along with 27 other US officials from the Trump administration for what China saw as an abuse, of undermining China’s sovereignty.

“What was interesting is that only were those officials but also their families can no longer travel to mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau,” continued Ms Yoon.

“Any businesses or institutions affiliated with them also cannot do business with China.”

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During Donald Trump’s presidency, the US increased the number of “freedom of navigation operations”—known as FONOPs—in the area to challenge China’s sovereignty claims.

President Joe Biden is expected to continue following this policy of contesting China’s power in the region.

Mr Biden’s nomination for national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, last year told the China Talk podcast: “We should be devoting more assets and resources to ensuring and reinforcing, and holding up alongside our partners, the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.”

He added: “That puts the shoe on the other foot. China then has to stop us, which they will not do.”


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It comes as Beijing continues to beef up its military capabilities in and around the South China Sea, as it seeks to assert its complete control over the disputed waters.

The waterway is a major shipping route for global commerce and is rich in fish and potential energy resources.

Experts believe that the seabed may contain up to 11 billion barrels worth of oil along with 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Resource hungry China has aggressively sought to assert its claim over these hydrocarbon deposits.

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