Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
December 16, 2022
It is certainly a positive movement for the US State Department, on December16, 2022, launched a “China House” with professional foreign service staff to manage the increasingly challenging US-China relation. Of course, the intention is to “responsibly managing the competition” so that the US and China will not start a war.
In fact, on October 20, 2020, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the China Task Force Act, which he introduced this morning alongside China Task Force Chairman and House Committee on Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul (TX-10) and members of the China Task Force:
“House Republicans not only understand the complexities of the CCP threat, but through our work on the China Task Force, we put forward a comprehensive blueprint that will be critical in curbing China’s dangerous behavior and securing America’s prominence on the world stage.”
Obviously, US House and the State Department are not in the same page in terms of moving US-China relation forward.
Between the US State Department and the US Congress: The United States Department of Defense China Task Force was announced by the United States president Joe Biden on February 10, 2021. Biden said the task force would help the United States “win the competition of the future” with China.
It is a major challenge for China, facing the three US government task forces at the same time with very different concepts, to determine what is the real strategic objective of the US or what the US wants from China for developing a peaceful coexistence world.
US-China relation, the two world largest economies, is complex and multitude. In addition to the US State Department, Congress and the Department of Defense, the US must also deal with China in terms of global trades, public health, and global climate challenges etc. not to mention the global hot spots, war in Ukraine, DPRK, terrorisms.
It is imperative that the US formulate and announce a coherent China Strategy and it should be an umbrella policy for the US government. Otherwise, it is obvious that coordinating/harmonizing the different taskforces will already be a consuming effort for any US administration.
State Department launches ‘China House’ amid rivalry with Beijing
December 16, 2022
Fri, December 16, 2022 at 9:38 AM PST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Friday launched its long-planned “China House” unit, an internal reorganization to help expand and sharpen its policymaking toward its top geopolitical rival.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May announced the creation of China House, calling it a department-wide, integrated team that would coordinate and implement U.S. policy across issues and regions.
“The scale and the scope of the challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China will test American diplomacy like nothing we’ve seen before,” Blinken said in May.
Blinken on Friday presided over the official opening of the unit, formally called the Office of China Coordination, noting that it would ensure the United States is able to “responsibly manage” competition with Beijing, according to a department statement.
China House will bring together China experts from throughout the department to coordinate with “every regional bureau and experts in international security, economics, technology, multilateral diplomacy, and strategic communications,” the statement quoted Blinken as saying.
It will replace the department’s China Desk, but will continue to be overseen by Rick Waters, the deputy assistant secretary of state for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, according to an official.
President Joe Biden’s administration has laid out a strategy to compete with China focused on investing in U.S. competitiveness and aligning with allies and partners.
The two countries have worked to steady relations rocked by a series of recent U.S. moves to expand export controls on strategic technology, such as semiconductors, and an August visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to which Beijing responded with large-scale military drills.
Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in person on the Indonesian island of Bali earlier in November, and the countries have agreed to follow-up discussions, including a planned visit to China by Blinken in early 2023.
United States Department of Defense China Task Force
The United States Department of Defense China Task Force was announced by the United States president Joe Biden on February 10, 2021. Biden said the task force would help the United States “win the competition of the future” with China. According to the DOD News service, the task force will be led by Ely Ratner, an assistant to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III. On the day the task force was announced, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that China sought cooperation with the United States, but that confrontation would be “definitely catastrophic for both countries and the world.”