Nominees for US Cabinet stand firm against China
Candidates for key positions in the administration of the new US President Joe Biden have highlighted the importance of China for the country’s diplomatic and security policy.
The candidates spoke at the Senate confirmation hearings on Tuesday, the day before Biden’s inauguration.
Foreign secretary candidate, former assistant secretary of state Antony Blinken, said there was no doubt that China was Washington’s greatest challenge for any nation.
He admitted that outgoing President Donald Trump was right to take a tougher stance on China, even if he did not agree with all of his methods.
The US has taken a stand against China’s human rights issues and military build-up. Blinken stressed the need to address China from a position of strength through close coordination with US allies.
Retired Army General Lloyd Austin said his department would focus on Asia and China in particular. He said China is the most worrying competitor we are facing.
He expressed his willingness to strengthen the alliance with key allies in the Asia-Pacific region. He noted that relations are vital and said his first official overseas visit will be to Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Blinken and Austin also said they are aiming to extend the new START nuclear weapons control treaty between the US and Russia, which is due to expire in February.