President Joe Biden made his first military and economic moves against China on Monday, signing an executive order protecting U.S. manufacturing and ordering military assets into the South China Sea.
Biden is set to sign an order strengthening protections for American manufacturers and putting his administration on track to fulfill his campaign promise to bring jobs back from overseas. The U.S. Navy also ordered a carrier strike group into the South China Sea (SCS) Saturday.
Together with the executive order, the move represents Biden’s first formal actions in competing against China, an area his cabinet nominees have indicated will be a top priority for his administration.
Today, President Biden will take action to support American businesses on the brink of closure and ensure that our future is made in America by all of America’s workers.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 25, 2021
“He believes we can rebuild the vitality of American manufacturing and our industrial strength. A big piece of that is centered around the idea that when we use taxpayer money to rebuild America, we buy American and we support American jobs,” one administration official told CNN of the executive order.
While the carrier deployment into the SCS has become routine for the U.S. military, it is the first such deployment to come under a Biden presidency. The deployment came the same day the Chinese military dispatched 13 bombers to fly near Taiwan in a competing show of force.
China has long made claims of sovereignty over Taiwan, a western-style democracy with its own independent government.
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.”