Jake Sullivan has been requested to fill the role, after previously advising Biden when he served as vice president in the Obama administration.
Sullivan also worked for Hillary Clinton when she served as Secretary of State.
Sullivan could bring in a new outlook to connections with China when compared with the Trump administration if his past comments are evidence.
During a speech he gave on behalf of the Lowy Institute in 2017, Sullivan said leading foreign policy expert Owen Harries was “right” to caution against “containment” as a self-defeating policy, similar to acquiescence.
“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,” Sullivan said. “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.”
During that speech, Sullivan said China policy needs to be about more than just reciprocal ties, "it needs to be about our ties to the region that create an environment more conducive to a peaceful and positive sum Chinese rise," he said.
Sullivan argued that a flourishing China, specifically from a financial aspect, was good for the global economy, though it depends on the “parameters of the system within which China is rising.”
That view relates to current policy towards China, where the U.S. has strived to finish trade agreements that level the playing field for domestic companies, regarding items like intellectual property protections and removing trade barriers.
The Trump administration engaged China directly in what amounted to a months-long trade war as it tried to persuade Beijing into opening its economy.
A partial compromise was reached between the world’s two largest economies earlier this year.
While Biden’s approach may dissent from Trump’s hardline strategies, his goals regarding economic relations with Beijing are pretty much the same.
Biden said the U.S. “does need to get tough on China,” in an essay in Foreign Affairs, where he advocated for using alliances as leverage to “shape the rules of the road” so that they “reflect democratic interests and values.”
According to popular assessment, the Biden presidency will bring a sea change, with these selections of posts suggestive of that. The New York Times says Biden is expected to end many of Trump’s isolationist policies, often promoted as “America First,” which are seen as “stains on American standing in the world.” In this view, Trump was a radical departure from the administration's past. Biden will be a return to normalcy, a post-Cold War consensus defined by a commitment to open markets, a readiness to defend and engage allies and an enthusiasm to provide global leadership.