Joe Biden’s pick to be national security adviser said in a lecture during the Trump-era that the United States should pick a strategy that in part “encourages China’s rise,” a remark that is likely to come under scrutiny given China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Jake Sullivan has been tapped to fill the role, after previously advising Biden when he served as vice president in the Obama administration. Sullivan also worked for Hillary Clinton when she served as Secretary of State,” Fox News reported this week. “During a lecture he delivered on behalf of the Lowy Institute in 2017, Sullivan said leading foreign policy expert Owen Harries was ‘right’ to warn against ‘containment’ as a self-defeating policy, much like acquiescence.”
“We need to strike a middle course – one that encourages China’s rise in a manner consistent with an open, fair, rules-based, regional order,” Sullivan said. “This will require care and prudence and strategic foresight, and maybe even more basically it will require sustained attention. It may not have escaped your notice that these are not in ample supply in Washington right now.”
Sullivan added that U.S. policy on China, which has been under communist control for more than 70 years, needed to be about more than bilateral relations and it “needs to be about our ties to the region that create an environment more conducive to a peaceful and positive sum Chinese rise.”
China is likely to be one of the top issues that Biden faces during his administration, which Biden’s critics say spells trouble for the U.S. Biden’s past positions on foreign policy and national security issues have come under heavy scrutiny. Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said of Biden: “I think he’s been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Biden’s critics have already begun sounding the alarm over some of his choices for key positions in his administration. Last week, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, claiming that he had improperly granted citizenship to Chinese nationals. The Daily Wire reported:
Cotton denounced Alejandro Mayorkas, who Biden announced he would pick as his DHS chief on Tuesday, during an interview on Fox News on Wednesday. Cotton said that Mayorkas’ alleged abuse of the EB-5 visa program, which allows foreigners who invest significant sums into growing U.S. businesses to apply for green cards, “disqualified” Mayorkas from the position.
“He was found by Barack Obama’s inspector general to be guilty of selling green cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich Democratic donors,” Cotton said. “Think about that. Selling citizenship to well-connected Chinese nationals on behalf of Democratic Party donors. That is disqualifying…”
In tweeting out the clip, Cotton added: “Alejandro Mayorkas was found by Barack Obama’s Inspector General to be guilty of selling Green Cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich, democratic donors. He is disqualified from leading the Department of Homeland Security.”
ABC News reported at the time on the inspector general’s 2015 report on Mayorkas:
Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tainted the image and integrity of the immigration program he oversaw by fostering “an appearance of favoritism and special access” in how the agency treated projects that would bring visas and Green Cards to wealthy foreign investors, a new report from the agency’s Inspector General says.
“The juxtaposition of Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits, created an appearance of favoritism and special access,” the Inspector General’s report concluded.