Biden’s top diplomat pick says Trump ‘right’ to be tough on China

Biden’s top diplomat pick says Trump ‘right’ to be tough on China

Antony Blinken, in Senate hearing, calls for new alliance-based approach

PALO ALTO, U.S. — Antony Blinken, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, on Tuesday promised major changes after four years of Donald Trump’s foreign policy but stressed one priority will remain the same: China.

“Let me just say that I also believe that President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China,” Blinken said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy,” he added.

Blinken’s hearing came a day before Biden’s inauguration and did not meet much resistance from either Republicans or Democrats. He is expected to be confirmed either this week or by next Monday.

Much of the four hours focused on how the Biden administration will approach China, a country Blinken and several senators described as “the greatest foreign policy challenge of this century.”