Former Vice President Mike Pence advised President Biden to exercise “eternal vigilance” when dealing with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Speaking to sailors from the Naval Air Station Lemoore, Pence warned that the communist nation will use debt diplomacy and military provocations to establish its dominance in the Indo-Pacific region. “As a new American administration prepares to take office, we do well to remember as Americans that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance… And a free and open Indo-Pacific is essential to our prosperity, our security, and the vitality of freedom in the world,” he said in the speech.
Pence’s statement came just as the U.S. Department of State declassified a document that detailed Washington’s strategy on the Indo-Pacific since 2017. The strategy focuses on working with regional allies to counter the increasing aggressiveness of Beijing. It specifically pointed out the critical role that the Republic of China, Taiwan (ROC), would play in containing Mainland China (PRC), and states that the PRC is looking to break America’s alliances in the region and then utilize the power vacuum to position itself as the dominant player. It warns that Beijing’s military strength will continue to rise and pose a challenge to Washington’s ability to maintain its Indo-Pacific interests.
According to the document, the U.S. strategy to contain the PRC is focused on the first island chain, an arbitrary demarcation that runs from the Kyushu Island in Japan to Indonesia. Beijing sees consolidating military power over the first island chain as a necessity to becoming the dominant power in the Indo-Pacific. To counter this, three objectives have been outlined that the incoming U.S. administration should target (a) defend the first island chain nations in the event of an attack from the PRC, (b) prevent the PRC from gaining sea and air dominance inside the first island chain during conflicts (c) exercise control over all domains that exist outside the first island chain. Equipping the ROC with necessary military capabilities to engage the PRC “in its own terms” is also a critical part of the strategy to contain the communist regime.
Trump was so aggressive against the PRC in his four years that many people feel Biden will pale in comparison when it comes to dealing with the communist nation. Some are also concerned that Biden might be pressured to take a softer approach to the PRC to protect his son Hunter Biden’s alleged illegal transactions with communist Chinese companies. In fact, Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Green has already announced that she will file articles of Impeachment against Biden the day after he is sworn into office due to this issue.
“On January 21st, I’m filing Articles of Impeachment on President-elect @JoeBiden. 75 million Americans are fed up with inaction. It’s time to take a stand. I’m proud to be the voice of Republican voters who have been ignored,” she said in a tweet. There are those who think that all the allegations of Biden having secret connections to the PRC and the CCP might actually benefit America. If Biden wants to avoid strengthening those claims, he may feel pressured to take a stricter approach with the PRC. As such, Biden might continue Trump’s hardcore policies against Beijing. His incoming national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, has announced that the Biden administration will not be rolling back the tariffs imposed by Trump on Chinese imports in the short term and will be looking to make the Chinese government “amend their most problematic trade practices that harm the American economy.”
Biden’s chosen administration, however, seems to have a soft spot for communist China. For instance, Biden’s senior advisor pick Anita Dunn is known to have praised the Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong, even calling him one of her “favorite political philosophers.” Similarly, Jake Sullivan seemed to have previously supported the idea of ditching Taipei to get Beijing to write off $1 trillion in American debt.