Biden’s National Security Adviser Wants to ‘Encourage China’s Rise’


Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s pick for National Security Adviser, has repeatedly praised China’s rise – an ideological position that has necessarily related to American decline.

Sullivan, formerly a Senior Adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and an alum of the Obama administration.

While speaking with CBS News Senior National Security Contributor Michael Morell on the Intelligence Matters podcast he insisted that the U.S facilitating China’s rise is a “success”:

In full, the remarks from September 11th, 2018 read:

“We helped create the conditions of stability and security in East Asia that allowed China to have this remarkable economic rise. So that it’s rising, in a way, is not the failure of American foreign policy; it’s the success of creating those stable conditions.”

Sullivan peddled a similar sentiment while speaking at the Lowy Institute in 2017.

When his fellow panelist Owen Harries insisted that “containment” of China was a self-defeating policy, Sullivan emphasized he was “right” to warn against the policy.

“Let me be clear, that’s not about containing China it’s about reinforcing the very foundation of regional stability that has among other things facilitated China’s remarkable rise over the past several decades,” he added.

He continued, noting U.S. policy towards China ought to “encourage China’s rise”:

“We need to strike a middle course – one that encourages China’s rise in a manner consistent with an open, fair, rules-based, regional order. This will require care and prudence and strategic foresight, and maybe even more basically it will require sustained attention. It may not have escaped your notice that these are not in ample supply in Washington right now.”

Later in the lecture, Sullivan noted the U.S. and China relationship needs to be broader than bilateral ties, noting “it needs to be about our ties to the region that create an environment more conducive to a peaceful and positive-sum Chinese rise.”

Sullivan’s comments are not far off from his potential boss, as Biden said in 2011:

“I’ve held the view for so many years and continue to hold the view that a rising China is a positive development.”

And in 2019, he insisted China is “not bad” and “not competition” for the U.S., even adding the U.S. “should be helping China” in 2020.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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