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Biden's Asia policy

Biden point man Kurt Campbell returns to an Asia that has pivoted

Old hand welcomed back but faces new tests, from China to Koreas to ASEAN

Kurt Campbell on a visit to Japan in 2013: The former Obama administration official will be heading up Joe Biden's Indo-Pacific policy.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- In his book codifying the Barack Obama administration's "Pivot to Asia" strategy, Kurt Campbell bemoaned the National Security Council's overreach into diplomacy. Then assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Campbell saw pitfalls in the centralization of foreign policy in the White House and out of the hands of career diplomats.

Five years later, Campbell is set to join the Joe Biden White House as the NSC's Indo-Pacific coordinator, a new position that has already been dubbed "Asia czar." Whereas outgoing President Donald Trump left Asia roles unfilled for months, announcing Campbell's appointment has been seen as a signal of Biden's commitment to the region.

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