The Biden administration has identified a rising and more assertive China as one of its biggest foreign policy challenges, and stressed the importance of allies in responding to the strategic competition posed by Beijing. Some analysts singled out the appointment of Kurt Campbell as the National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific affairs coordinator as affirming Biden’s intent to focus more on the region and strengthen relations with allies there.
Indo-Pacific broadly refers to the region that lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, bordered by Japan, India and Australia. Campbell is familiar to many governments in Asia, having served as assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs under former President Barack Obama. He was widely credited for the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia — a strategy seen faltering during Donald Trump’s term.