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Consensus in US to contain China's aggression

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There is an ever-growing consensus across the whole American public spectrum today to contain communist China's aggressive designs the world over.

In a recent media interview, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that China appears to be trying to set a 'new normal', with its increased military activity and incursions into the Taiwan Strait; this "bears watching" to ensure the US maintains "a free and open Indo-Pacific." Austin has assured that the American military is "always prepared to protect our interests and live up to our commitments."

Observers say Austin's remarks are in tune with an ever-growing consensus across the whole American public spectrum today to contain communist China's aggressive designs the world over. Over a fortnight ago, US President Joe Biden told 'CBS 60 Minutes' that the US forces would defend Taiwan if China launched an 'unprecedented attack' on the island nation.

Consensus in US to contain Chinas aggression

Like its predecessors, the Biden administration is in no mood to change the status of US-Taiwan relations. This relationship has been guided by the Taiwan Relations Act (1979). The Act stipulates the US would maintain unofficial commercial and cultural relations with Taiwan. China has, however, made no secret of its intention to unify the island with the mainland by force, if needed. It has continued sending military jets over Taiwan and been running 'invasion drills', close to the Strait. Washington cannot overlook this.

The observers say that, in the early seventies, the President Richard M Nixon administration in Washington initially normalized US relations with China. In 1979, the President Jimmy Carter administration established diplomatic relations between the US and China. However, for some years now, there has been a near consensus across the American Congress "to make sure that we don't let this beast(China) run out of control."

During the presidency of Donald J Trump in Washington, the US Department of Defence opened a new office specifically focused on China. The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation started the 'China Initiative' aimed at reducing the growing Chinese influence in US academic and research institutions.

In March last year, the Biden administration released a new guidance on national security stating that China "ha(d) rapidly become more assertive" in challenging the United States and other Western countries.

During the Biden administration, the US Central Intelligence Agency has set up the China Mission Center focused on neutralizing the dragon. CIA Director William Burns has described China as "the most important geopolitical threat facing the United States." Burns is for this Center to unify all the work the CIA is currently doing in regard to China with a "whole Agency" approach.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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