January 20th local time, under the heavy guard of the National Guard, Democrat Biden was sworn in on the west side of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., officially becoming the 46th President of the United States.
American politics has finally turned a new page. Biden also entered the world audience with more than 20 cabinet members and cabinet-level members he nominated, who may become influential in American and even global politics in the future.
Note: All nominees except the Vice President and the White House Chief of Staff are confirmed by a simple majority vote in the Senate before they can be elected.
Looking at the candidates for the government team nominated by Biden, there are two main characteristics:
the return of the “establishment”.
During Trump’s four years of administration, he used many business people and close relatives, holding high the banner of “America First”, and finally ended in a lonely outcome of tearing up the domestic society and the decline of international credibility.
The Biden administration tends to appoint “vetertures” with excellent professional backgrounds and political experience in an attempt to make the United States Political and diplomatic decision-making is back to a more stable and predictable track of the “establishment”.
the degree of diversification is high.
Biden’s cabinet will be one of the most diversified cabinet teams in American history.
Women account for one-third of Biden’s 15 cabinet ministers, higher than previous administrations; and the proportion of minorities is also much higher than that of the Trump administration’s nominees.
If these nominations are confirmed by the Senate, it will give birth to the first female treasure minister in American history, the first African-American defense minister, the first Latino homeland security minister, the first indigenous cabinet minister and the first cabinet minister openly gay.
In the current United States, the coronavirus crisis is severe, social division and political polarization have intensified.
How will Biden’s elite cabinet team repair the “scars” in China? There are also
Who can enter his “core circle of staff” in key areas such as national security and diplomacy and economy? What kind of policy team will Biden, who once called China a “special challenge”, form?
National Security and Diplomacy Team: Return of “establishment” veterans
Of all Biden cabinet members, the nominees in the field of national security and diplomacy have the highest “priority”.
On November 23 last year, the General Services Administration (GSA) of the federal government notified Biden to officially start the power transition process.
The next day, Biden announced his nomination for members of the National Security and Foreign Affairs Cabinet, saying that the team was showing the world that “America is back” and “ready to lead the world, not retreat”. The key symbol of “defending American values”.
Judging from the candidates in this field, what all seven nominees have in common is that they have served in the Obama administration, have worked with Biden to varying degrees, and belong to veteran politically experienced “establishment” veterans.
Among the above nominees, Secretary of State-designate Blinken and Assistant Sullivan for National Security may play a more important role in future decision-making in the field of U.S. foreign affairs and security.
As Biden’s “old acquaintance” for nearly 20 years, Blinken is Biden’s most important diplomatic adviser. After Biden decided to run for the 2020 presidential election, Blinkin became his chief foreign policy adviser and speechwriter.
Analysts predict that American diplomacy at the helm of Blinken or the way back to multilateralism also closely coincides with Biden’s political ideas. Another key figure, Sullivan, served as his national security adviser when Biden was vice president.
Sullivan wrote in 2019 to attack Trump’s “America First” policy and proposed that in the post-Trump era, the United States should mobilize all parties to deal with global threats on the one hand, and on the other hand, it needs to unite allies to deal with other big threats.
Economic Team: Focus on Labor Rights and Climate Change Challenges
Against the backdrop of ongoing wave of unemployment in the United States and the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Biden team believes that it is imperative to restore economic growth, support small businesses with difficult to survive, and address structural inequalities in the economy.
Throughout Biden’s economic team nominees, women and minority members are in the majority. Treasury Secretary Yellen and Rouse, chairman of the Economic Advisers Committee, are the best labor economists in the United States.
Angus Deaton, a 2015 Nobel laureate in economics and a professor at Princeton University in the United States, said in an interview with The Paper that it is very good for these senior positions to be held by knowledgeable professionals. Yellen, Rolls and others have long paid attention to labor.
For the market and American workers, the new economic team may have a more labor-friendly position than in the past four years. In addition, the Biden-nominated labor secretary Walsh has many years of union experience.
In addition to focusing on labor rights, Biden’s economic team has also forward-lookingly integrated climate change into economic issues.
Yellen had previously advocated to “promote investment projects that can create jobs and address the challenge of climate change”; Biden also called her chairman of the Economic Advisers Committee who knows climate policy best when introducing Rouse; Tanden, the White House Administrator of Administration and Budget, also said that he was prepared to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and add Fast clean energy production, included in the stimulus bill being developed by its team.
Climate and Environment: Rising to “Essistent National Security”
According to the New York Times last November, in more than four years in Trump’s office, he overturned more than 100 laws and regulations in the field of the environment.
Notably, the Trump administration also announced its official withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement on November 4, 2020. Biden has said that on his first day in office, he will promote the United States to rejoin the agreement.
Tao Wendi, a researcher at the American Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in an earlier interview with the media, “[This phenomenon] is mainly due to the differences in the ideas of the two parties in the United States in addressing climate change.”
Tao Wenqian pointed out that from former U.S. Presidents Clinton and Obama to Biden, Democrats insist that “climate change is a serious threat to human survival” and advocate a low-carbon economy.
During Biden’s presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Kerry was a member of his climate task force.
The Biden transition team said that naming Kerry as the president’s climate envoy meant Biden viewed climate change as “an urgent national security issue.”
Domestic Affairs: Promoting Order Reconstruction
During the Trump administration, the legal, immigration, race, health care and other policy areas of the United States have been hit to varying degrees. Therefore, one of the priorities of Biden’s administration is to promote the reconstruction of domestic order, but in the face of a highly polarized American society, this task of the Biden administration may be very difficult.
Among them, Attorney General Garland and Rice of the White House Committee on Domestic Policy will play a more holistic role.
On the one hand, Biden’s nomination of Garland is intended to repair the criminal justice system that has been “politicized” and replaced “neutral” during Trump’s administration. According to CNN analysis, Garland is an impeccable “depoliticization” choice for both parties, which can restore the “independence” and “rightness” of the judiciary.
On the other hand, seasoned foreign policy officer Rice was unexpectedly appointed as the director of the domestic policy committee.
But Biden’s advisers said Biden’s choice demonstrated the importance of domestic policy on its agenda.
The analysis points out that Rice will play a greater role in the fight against the epidemic, immigration, health insurance and racial equality.
Health and Health: Mitigate the COVID-19 Crisis
Responding to the coronavirus crisis is a top priority after Biden takes office.
Biden proposed a total of $1.9 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus plan on the 14th. As of January 20th local time, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States exceeded 24 million, and the cumulative death toll exceeded 400,000, ranking first in the world.
In December last year, when Biden made his public appearance with the health team, he announced the three hundred days of anti-epidemic plan after taking office: he planned to require the American people to wear masks within 100 days, the government will vaccinate people with at least 100 million doses, and let students return to school as soon as possible.
Biden said that the plan was developed in conjunction with Fauci, a well-known infectious disease expert in the United States, and Fauci would also serve as the chief medical adviser in the Biden administration.
New Asian Affairs position: How will the policy towards China be reshaped?
In terms of policy towards China, the Biden administration has created a new position of “Indo-Pacific Policy Coordinator” on the White House National Security Council, which is responsible for China affairs, South Asian affairs and East Asia and Oceania affairs, and appointed Kurt, a senior foreign policy expert.
Campbell holds this position.
The analysis pointed out that the newly created position will play a leading role in the Biden administration’s Asian policy, so there is public opinion calling Campbell the “Asian Tsar”, and he, together with Secretary of State-designate Bricoln and National Security Assistant Sullivan, may become the “troika” to influence future U.S. policy towards China.
The Financial Times quoted sources as saying that Biden’s new position was partly due to his desire to better integrate foreign policy, defense and economic policies towards China under the leadership of an expert on Asian affairs.
In addition, Biden also appointed Lola Rosenberg to the newly established position of “Senior Director of China Affairs” on the National Security Council. Rosenberg is familiar with Northeast Asia and China affairs.
She served as the director of China and North Korea affairs at the National Security Council in the Obama administration. She will report to Campbell in the future.
Judging from the current staffing ratio of the National Security Council, the personnel responsible for Asian affairs are three times that of the European department, and have become the main force of the National Security Council.
In 2005, the size of the two departments was similar, which is enough to show the importance of Asian affairs to the Biden administration.
As a senior foreign policy expert, Campbell served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific from 2009 to 2013, and is widely regarded as the key designer of the Obama-era “return to Asia” strategy.
Michael Green, Campbell’s long-time friend and senior vice president of Asian affairs of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), recently wrote an analysis that Biden’s choice of Campbell in this position is an important recognition of the Democratic and Republican Party’s strategy in China and Asia.
According to a CSIS survey in August 2020, there is a broad consensus in the U.S. Congress and the foreign policy community on the need to strengthen relations with allies, protect key technologies, and pressure China on human rights and democracy issues.
And Asian policy can achieve bipartisan consensus, and Campbell, who is close to Republicans, plays an important role in linking.
Green also believes that Campbell’s proposed “back to Asia” strategy remains at the core of the consensus between Biden’s new team and bipartisan congressional leaders.
From 2018 to now, Campbell has published a series of influential articles in the diplomatic community of the United States with a group of scholars studying Sino-US relations.
Campbell has also played a pivotal role in promoting the U.S. policy community to reflect on the U.S. strategy towards China. Regarding how to interact with China, Campbell pointed out in his nearly two years that unilateral foreign policy characterized by punishment must be abandoned and relations with European and Asian allies.
At the same time, cooperation with China must be sought on global challenges such as climate change to restore international confidence in American leadership.