US Senate confirms Biden’s top Asia aide Kurt Campbell as Deputy Secy of State

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WASHINGTON, DC : The US Senate confirmed US President Joe Biden’s top Asia aide, Kurt Campbell, as the Deputy Secretary of State on Tuesday, Voice of America (VOA) News reported.

Campbell will replace Wendy Sherman, who retired on July 8 and will serve as the US State Department’s second-ranking diplomat behind US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

During his tenure as the White House National Security Council coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell stressed that the US, while in competition with China, does not want conflict or confrontation. He stated that the US is committed to working with its allies and managing competition with China responsibly, according to VOA News report.

In his testimony for his nomination hearing in December, Campbell stated, “Today’s challenges are truly global. What happens in one region affects the others. Our competitors are collaborating – just look at China, Iran, and North Korea’s support for Russia’s war of aggression. We are stronger across-the-board due to our alliances and partnerships.”

During the nomination hearing, he said, “China believes that we are in hurtling decline. It is critical that we prove otherwise.” He highlighted the urgency of advancing new 20-year funding agreements with three Pacific Island nations — Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau to counter China’s regional influence.

He also expressed concerns over North Korea’s actions, including supplying military equipment to Russia amid its ongoing war with Ukraine and bolstering Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear capabilities, according to VOA News report.

“I am worried that North Korea in the current environment has decided that they are no longer interested in diplomacy with the United States. And that means that we’re going to have to focus even more on deterrence,” Kurt Campbell told lawmakers from the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Notably, North Korea has rejected US’ outreach despite various efforts, according to VOA News report. The last diplomatic engagement between two nations took place in Vietnam, where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former US President Donald Trump held a meeting. Since then, North Korea has rejected every attempt made by the US to reach out, including offers of vaccines and humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in November, US President Joe Biden picked Kurt Campbell to serve as Deputy Secretary of State, the White House said in a press statement.The White House announced the nomination of Campbell, who has served as Biden’s coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs since the start of the administration, developing the White House’s Asia strategy, said the White House in a statement.

As per the White House statement, Campbell served as assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2009-13 during the Obama administration. He played an important role in shaping US’ “pivot to Asia” policy during former US President Barack Obama’s administration, VOA News reported.

Among the other positions, he has held during his distinguished career, Campbell served as US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, White House Fellow at the Treasury Department, and as Director of the Democracy Office at the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration.

According to the statement, Campbell was an Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served in the US Navy Reserves. (ANI)

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