Biden Announces New Pentagon China Task Force

February 10, 2021 Updated: February 10, 2021

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the Pentagon will conduct a new review on how the U.S. military will handle the threat posed by China.

“It will require a whole-of-government effort, bipartisan cooperation in Congress, and strong alliances and partnerships,” said Biden at the Pentagon building. “That’s how we’ll meet the China challenge and ensure the American people win the competition of the future.”

The review, he added, will help “chart a strong path forward on China-related matters.”

On Sunday, Biden told CBS News that the Chinese regime should expect “extreme competition” from the United States, although he said the relationship doesn’t necessarily need to be based on conflict. “We will confront China’s economic abuses,” Biden explained, saying the regime is the U.S.’s “most serious competitor.”

However, in the interview, Biden said that he will take a different approach to the CCP than Trump—whose administration frequently criticized the regime for its rampant human rights violations, spreading of disinformation, and other abuses.

The new Pentagon group will be responsible for providing recommendations on the U.S.’s position toward China matters and will provide its findings to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in four months.

“No final public report is anticipated, although the department will discuss recommendations with Congress and other stakeholders as appropriate,” the Pentagon wrote in a statement on Wednesday about the new task force.

According to the Pentagon, the task force will be headed by Ely Ratner, a longtime aide to Biden. Ratner previously served as vice president of the Center for a New American Security think tank.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Trump administration was correct in taking a tougher stance against the CCP.

“I think in fairness to President Trump he was right to take a tougher approach to China. That was the right thing to do,” he said in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

“But what does this require of us? We have to engage China from a position of strength. And whether it’s the adversarial aspects of the relationship, the competitive ones, or the cooperative ones which are there in our mutual interest, we have to deal with it from a position of strength,” Blinken continued.