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Biden has his choice for secretary of state, a former No. 2 official at the State Department

Us president-elect Joe Biden has decided on his choice for secretary of state and is expected to make an announcement next week, the Hill has just reported. Citing former Obama administration officials, the report said the choice was likely to be Tony Blinken, a veteran diplomat and longtime biden ally.

Blinken is reported to have been the No. 2 official at the State Department, having served as acting national security adviser in the Obama administration. Reports say he is considered by Washington insiders to be highly qualified for the secretary of state job.The Hill, meanwhile, said a spokesman for Biden’s “transition administration” declined to confirm whether biden had made a decision.

Biden had previously said he had made up his mind on who he would nominate for Treasury secretary, but he also declined to give specifics, the report said. Mr Biden said this week that the candidate would be “accepted by all members of the Democratic Party, radicals and moderates”.

Will she be America’s new defense secretary? “Destroy the Chinese Navy in the South China Sea within 72 hours.”An article in Foreign Affairs magazine, published five months ago, has suddenly gone viral in recent days.The article was titled “How to Prevent War in Asia”. The writer is michele Flournoy, a female scholar at the think tank. “The US military must be able to destroy the Chinese navy in the South China Sea within 72 hours,” she said in a startling statement.The remark, though out of line, did not cause much stir at the time. In the past four years, the US side has been extremely tough on China. Such voices are not uncommon. However, more than ten days after the US election, this article suddenly aroused the republication and interpretation of major US media:Because of this Flournoy, suddenly the most popular choice for Secretary of defense in Biden’s administration.

Flournoy’s attention is a microcosm of U.S. media speculation about The Biden administration’s China policy.Potential candidates for a range of jobs, from trade and economics to foreign affairs and national security, have become the basis for predictions about the next administration’s China policy.Even former President Barack Obama is adding unexpected fodder to the speculation.U.S. media said Flournoy already has the experience of running the Pentagon.Flournoy was born in Los Angeles, California, in December 1960. She joined the Pentagon in the 1990s under Bill Clinton as assistant secretary of Defense for strategy. When Mr. Obama took office in 2009, Ms. Flournoy became deputy secretary of defense, in charge of national security and defense policy, and was considered the Pentagon’s “number three.”

At the height of her career, Flournoy resigned in 2012 for “spending time with her children” and has since devoted more energy to the Centre for A New American National Security, a conservative think-tank. She is a co-founder and former director of the think tank.Some say she has hardened her stance on China in the years since she joined the think tank.Even as she retired from politics, Ms Flournoy came close to becoming US defence secretary at least twice.One was in November 2014. The then US defence secretary Chuck Hagel announced his resignation and at the time it was widely rumoured that Michele Flournoy would take over. But Flournoy declined, again calling on Obama to drop her nomination for “family reasons.”Then came 2016. Us media have revealed that Flournoy will become Hillary Clinton’s defence secretary if she wins the election that year.

On June 20, 2016, the Center for a New American National Security, led by Michele Flournoy, hosted an event that invited Vice President Joe Biden to speak. As the two exchanged pleasantries on stage, Biden suddenly smiled and addressed Flournoy as “Madam Secretary.””You know, I’m writing a letter of recommendation for her,” he told the packed audience.After Biden was declared the winner, the American media circulated this scene again. The “Clinton administration” never materialized. But four years later, Biden himself is the president-elect. He can deliver on his promise to “Madam Minister” without having to recommend anyone else.

Flournoy, it is true, has long been on Mr Biden’s shortlist.Immediately after, the potential US defense secretary’s views on defense and security issues, particularly around china-us relations, attracted immediate attention.It was against this background that Flournoy’s article, published in the US Foreign Affairs Journal on June 18 this year, went viral again.The headline, “How to Stop War in Asia”, seems fine. But the subtitle and the text begin with a strong statement about China, saying that the risk of war between the United States and China has risen sharply, and that “the weakening of U.S. deterrence has increased the risk of miscalculation by China.”In view of this, Flournoy throws out the much-reproduced phrase joe biden foreign policy advisors:China would think twice before blockading or attacking Taiwan “if the US military could issue a credible deterrent and sink all Chinese warships, submarines and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours”.

In her article and interviews over the past few months with defense News and other U.S. media, she has made a series of recommendations to equip the U.S. military with such a credible deterrent.For example, the U.S. government must invest more in developing new military technologies such as unmanned operating systems. Equip more long-range missiles; Increased deployment of military forces in the South China Sea… She also suggested that Washington step up cooperation with its Allies in the Indo-Pacific region to pressure China.Ms Flournoy’s hawkish stance on China has raised questions.The Consortium News said the choice of Flournoy to lead the Pentagon would be a harbinger of the beginning of tragedy. The choice is proof that Biden will squander America’s future in an arms race with China and Russia.And this “would be futile and disastrous, a futile effort to restore America’s declining imperial power”.

Not only that, but there are questions about the feasibility of Ms Flournoy’s proposals.The South China Morning Post quoted an expert on The United States as saying:First, the coVID-19 epidemic has devastated the US economy and cast a shadow over the future of the US defence budget, making it difficult for Flournoy to secure sufficient funding for some of his new plans.Second, even if implemented, it would hardly have the deterrent effect she hoped for. If it were to attack Taiwan by force, “Beijing would have already taken the direct intervention of the US into consideration”.Ms Flournoy, of course joe biden foreign policy team, is seen as the favourite to be defence secretary in a future Biden administration, but her appointment is uncertain.

The US media says there are several other competitive figures on the list for consideration as the next defense secretary. Jay Duckworth, Mr Obama’s homeland security secretary, Jack Reid, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and so on.It is also too early to say from just one article and several interviews this year that Flournoy is a “die-hard Hawk” on China.Flournoy, who resigned in 2012, was called the “cool voice” in the Pentagon.As the us deputy Secretary of Defense at the time, she has been co-chairing the vice-ministerial consultations between the two countries on behalf of the US and China. She also made it clear that it was totally wrong to say that “us-China conflict is inevitable” and hoped that the two countries would build a positive, cooperative and productive relationship.

Despite her repeated overtures to China this year, Flournoy has also expressed her willingness to cooperate with China biden foreign policy advisor.She criticized the current U.S. administration for being “short-sighted” in its approach to China and for not leaving room for cooperation on topics of mutual interest.The two countries “face many common threats, from preventing the next pandemic, to dealing with climate change, to dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue. Like it or not, we have to work with China, or we can’t solve the problem anthony blinken wiki.”Ms Flournoy also argued that the US must restart high-level strategic dialogue with China, which it had broken off, in order to “communicate clearly about interests and intentions”.

The next question that remains to be seen is:If she does manage the Pentagon, will Flournoy, who once pursued a pragmatic and calm foreign policy philosophy and has been more critical of the Trump administration’s China policy, become yet another extreme anti-China hawk?Flournoy’s buzz is fueled by intense public interest in key cabinet picks in The Biden administration.A number of US media outlets are said to have obtained a “possible list” from “insiders”.Former National Security adviser Susan Rice and deputy National Security Adviser Anthony Blinken will fill a range of top diplomatic, security and economic positions in the Biden administration, including national security adviser, secretary of state, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The headline of an article in the November issue of the Economist, a British newspaper, was blunt: “Old Obama-era figures will shape Biden’s China policy”.The article also said that most of these China policy advisers trusted by Mr. Obama will no longer have the same “illusions” about China once they are “given a second chance.” While the pedigree is very different from the Trump administration’s China policy team, policy trends are likely to converge.But the Obama administration’s actual attitude toward China is itself a question.Without the financial crisis, I could have taken a tougher approach to China’s trade. In his memoir, “The Promised Land,” which went on sale just three days ago, Obama speaks of China with a whiff of the Trump administration:”I’m not going to start a trade war in 2009 or 2010. I needed the cooperation of China, Europe and all the other potential engines of growth to restart the global economy.”In other words, we did not launch a trade war against China because of circumstances.

Crucially, Mr Obama also said he had planned to wait until the economic environment was no longer fragile before gradually increasing the pressure on China.After Obama revealed his “true attitude” towards China, the US media made more speculation about the Biden administration’s China policy.

To what extent does Mr Biden, after eight years as Mr Obama’s vice-president, share or even inherit these views? Would a group of China policy advisers then put into practice the “increasing pressure on China” that they had no chance to put into practice in the Biden administration?And how should we in China view these issues?’We’ve made it very clear over the last few years that we’ve never given up on mending our relationship on an equal footing tony blinken biden,’ said one American scholar. ‘We’re always ready to counter any arbitrary U.S. repression with a reciprocal response.’With this kind of confidence and bottom line thinking, there is no need to guess like the US media.


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