US President-elect Joe Biden Wednesday appointed top American diplomat Kurt M. Campbell as the ‘Indo-Pacific Coordinator’, putting to rest doubts about the future of a major strategic policy that aims to balance China’s rise.
The appointment came a day after the White House declassified a new document enumerating the Donald Trump administration’s objectives and action plan on the Indo-Pacific strategy with the aim of containing China’s rise.
This new title given to any American diplomat for the first time ever is an indication that the incoming Biden administration will follow the same path, if not a more enhanced one, that the outgoing Trump government followed when it came to keeping the limelight on arresting China’s rise in the region, while working out a more strategic partnership with some of US’ allies such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and India.
It was under the Barack Obama administration, in which Biden was the vice president, that the US began to put its focus on the Indo-Pacific region under its ‘pivot (later called as ‘rebalance’) to Asia’ policy.
Campbell had served as the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the Obama administration. He had played an instrumental role in chalking out the ‘pivot to Asia’ policy.
He is currently serving as the chairman and chief executive officer of The Asia Group.