Biden State Department launches ‘China House’ initiative, says Beijing is ‘most complex’ challenge

The Biden administration on Friday launched “China House,” a new coordination office to ensure the federal government is able to “responsibly manage” competition between the United States and China, which the State Department said is the “most complex and consistent geopolitical challenge”. we face.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken presided over the launch of the new Office of China Coordination — informally known as “China House” — which is slated to advance the Biden administration’s “vision of an open, inclusive international system.”

The State Department said the goal of the initiative is “to help provide elements of the administration’s approach to the PRC (People’s Republic of China).”

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The State Department described “China House” as a key component in Blinken’s “modernization agenda,” which focuses on ensuring that the agency is prepared to meet the challenges of the next decade.

“The Secretary and the Department’s leadership are committed to ensuring that we have the talent, tools, and resources to successfully execute U.S. policy and strategy toward the PRC as the most complex and consequential geopolitical challenge we face,” said the State Department Friday.

The office brings together China experts from across the State Department and security officials.

The creation of the office comes after President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit last month.

“We are encouraged that diplomatic communication channels not only remain open, but potentially expand,” said strategic communications coordinator John Kirby of the White House National Security Council last week, noting that there are plans for Blinking to travel to Beijing.

Blinken said last month he would travel to China early next year to discuss bilateral issues and maintain open lines of communication after the meeting between Biden and Xi, the first time the two leaders have met in person since Biden became president.

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A reading from the White House after the meeting said that the two “exchanged views on important regional and global challenges”, such as the aggression of Russia and threats of nuclear war. However, neither Beijing nor Washington have mentioned whether developments have been made beyond their differences when it comes to the war in Ukraine.

China suspended communication with the United States on important international issues over the summer in retaliation for the congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At the time, the Chinese Communist Party announced that it had canceled all discussions of climate change, drug networks and military action with the United States

The meeting in Indonesia between the two leaders, while reopening communications, did not signal a “reset” in US-China relations, Kirby said last month.

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“There are still tensions. There are still things we disagree with the Chinese,” Kirby said at the time, noting that the U.S. and China were “balancing” their competing agendas.

Biden administration officials have warned of the national security threat China poses to the United States

FBI Director Christopher Wray has said that China poses “the greatest long-term threat” to US economic and national security.

Intelligence community officials have warned that state and local leaders are at “risk” of being “manipulated” into supporting “hidden” agendas of the Chinese Communist Party, as China tries to target officials outside Washington to push for Beijing-friendly policies in the federal government. to lobby. level.

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CIA Director William Burns also warned that China is “the most profound test the CIA has ever faced,” calling Beijing a “formidable competitor that lacks neither ambition nor ability.”

Last year, the CIA created the China Mission Center to counter Beijing and “best position” the agency to address China’s current and future national security challenges.

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