Working with different international locations, Mr. Blinken mentioned on the discussion board, may have the additional advantage of confronting one other prime diplomatic problem: competing with China by selecting multilateral efforts to advance commerce, expertise investments and human rights — as a substitute of forcing particular person nations to decide on between the 2 superpowers’ economies.
That’s more likely to imply diplomatic time spent forging stronger ties with India and throughout the Indo-Pacific area, the place 14 nations just lately signed one of the world’s largest free trade agreements with China. It may additionally convey an effort to deepen engagement throughout Africa, the place China has made inroads with expertise and infrastructure investments, and acknowledge Europe as a companion of “first resort, not final resort, in terms of contending with the challenges we face,” Mr. Blinken mentioned on the discussion board.
In public statements and interviews in current weeks, he has made no secret of different points of Mr. Biden’s — and his personal — agenda for the primary weeks of the brand new presidency.
He could have about 15 days after inauguration to increase for 5 years the final main arms management settlement with Russia, a step Mr. Trump initially refused to take as a result of he insisted China be introduced into the treaty as nicely. “Definitely we’ll wish to have interaction China on arms management points,” Mr. Blinken mentioned just lately, “however we are able to pursue strategic stability by extending the New START arms limitation settlement and search to construct on it” later.
Mr. Blinken has turned extra hawkish on Russia because the extent of its interference within the 2016 election and all through Europe has develop into clearer. In a current interview, he steered utilizing Russia’s discomfort with its reliance on China, particularly in expertise, for leverage.
“There’s a flip facet” to coping with Moscow, Mr. Blinken mentioned. President Vladimir V. Putin, he famous, is “trying to relieve Russia’s rising dependence on China,” which has left him in “not a really snug place.”
In taking the White Home’s prime nationwide safety job, Mr. Sullivan would be the youngest particular person to carry that place because the Eisenhower administration. Mr. Sullivan made his identify within the Obama administration, discovering admirers even amongst conservative Republicans in Congress whereas enjoying a key position within the negotiations resulting in the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.