英文 English 
Biden picks Antony Blinken for state secretary (2020/11/24)

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has announced his pick for secretary of state, and it’s his long-time policy adviser Antony Blinken. Blinken is known as a mild-mannered and pragmatic Washington veteran. For the U.S., his return could herald a shift back to traditional approaches in foreign affairs. In Taiwan, officials are cautiously optimistic on the future of relations with Washington.

Biden has announced his first wave of Cabinet picks. As expected, he’s named his loyal foreign policy adviser to lead the state department.

Blinken, 58, is the scion of a diplomat and a veteran of the state department, which he first joined as special assistant during the Clinton administration. After that, he served in the U.S. senate, as democratic staff director for its Foreign Relations Committee. The chair of that committee was then-Senator Biden. When Biden became U.S. vice president, Blinken served as his national security adviser, before being promoted to deputy secretary of state under the Obama administration. A trusted ally, Blinken has worked alongside Biden for some 20 years, and is regarded as a thoughtful and experienced “diplomat among diplomats.”

Barack Obama
Former US president
He was part of our inner circle, in all our key meetings throughout my presidency.

Antony Blinken
Biden foreign policy adviser
Right now by every key metric, China’s strategic position is stronger, and ours is weaker. So the real challenge, Kevin, is that we have to put ourselves in a position of strength.

Blinken also has a record of close interactions with Taiwan.

In 2015, Tsai visited Washington during her presidential campaign. In a first for a Taiwan presidential candidate, she met with a U.S. official in the state department – Blinken, who was then deputy secretary of state. The two spoke for an hour. At the time, Tsai was accompanied by two aides, who are now foreign minister Joseph Wu and Taiwan representative to Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim.

Last week, Hsiao shared a photo of her speaking with Blinken over the phone, a clear message of smooth communication between the Tsai administration and the Biden team. Going back a few months earlier, in May, Blinken spoke out on Taiwan’s behalf in a media interview. He said that Taiwan’s exclusion by the World Health Organization was quote, “a huge mistake.” Taiwan has had significant success in dealing with COVID, he said, saying the U.S. should do everything it can to ensure Taiwan can be “engaged in international organizations.” In August, when Taiwan lifted its ban on U.S. pork, Blinken weighed in on social media. He wrote on Twitter, “Stronger economic ties with Taiwan also support our shared democratic values, and our common commitment to regional peace and stability.” With Blinken set to become secretary of state, Taiwan-U.S. ties seem poised to grow stronger.

中文 Chinese  
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