Biden Forms Task Force on China; Warns Xi Over ‘Rights Abuses’
Biden also spoke about the crackdown in Hong Kong as well as China’s “increasingly assertive actions in the region.”
United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday, 10 February, spoke with China President Xi Jinping and voiced his “fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices” and “human rights abuses in Xinjiang” among other things, a statement from the White House said.
While extending his greetings and well wishes to the Chinese on the occasion of Lunar New Year, President Biden also spoke about the crackdown in Hong Kong as well as China’s “increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan,” the statement further said.
The two presidents also spoke about ways to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as global health security, climate change, and preventing weapons proliferation.
“President Biden committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements when it advances the interests of the American people and those of our allies,” the statement read.
Biden also reiterated his priority of protecting the security of Americans as well as “preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Biden Announces Task Force on China
Meanwhile, in a sign of his recognition of the risks from Beijing's growing power and assertiveness, Biden, while on a visit to the Pentagon, called for a national and international effort to "meet the China challenge and ensure the American people win the competition of the future."
"We need to meet the growing challenges posed by China to keep the peace and defend our interests in the Indo-Pacific and globally," he said, according to IANS.
The President also announced the formation of the new task force that will work with a sense of urgency on strategy so that “we can chart a strong path forward on China-related matters.”
In his speech at the Pentagon, Biden said that the task force on China will "look at our strategy and operational concepts, technology, and force posture, and so much more."
"The task force will work quickly, drawing on civilian and military experts across the (Defense) Department, to provide, within the next few months, recommendations to (Defense Secretary Lloyd) Austin on key priorities and decision points so that we can chart a strong path forward on China-related matters, ” he said.
According to IANS, Biden said that while force should be a tool of last resort, "I will never hesitate to use force to defend the vital interests of the American people and our allies around the world when necessary."
(With inputs from IANS.)
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