Bilahari, Tommy Koh welcome Kurt Campbell, Biden's pick for US point man on Asia

Could the Pivot to Asia make a comeback?

Sulaiman Daud | January 15, 2021, 01:43 PM

President-elect Joe Biden has turned to familiar names from the Obama era to drive his foreign policy agenda.

Meet Kurt Campbell

Kurt Campbell held the position of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama Administration.

He is credited for building Obama's "pivot to Asia" strategy, broadly defined as the U.S. placing greater focus on East Asian matters and regional developments.

According to Nikkei AsiaCampbell will take up a new role as Co-ordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs, a newly-created post on the U.S. National Security Council.

He will also hold the title of Deputy Assistant to the President.

In a recent article published by Foreign AffairsCampbell laid out a proposed foreign policy strategy for the U.S., rocked by what he sees are belligerent moves made by China, and the undermining of strategic alliances by President Donald Trump.

It calls for the U.S. to disperse its forces throughout Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, but also envisions a role for China in international decision-making.

"Very good choice"

An opinion column by the Washington Post said that Campbell's appointment would be reassuring for American allies.

However, it added that the Biden Administration should also put in the time and resources to further the "pivot to Asia" strategy along with Campbell's new post.

Bilahari Kausikan, previously Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared the article on his Facebook page, along with the caption, "A very good choice."

In the comments section, Professor Tommy Koh also gave his two cents.

Koh, who is Singapore Ambassador-at-large, wrote, "Welcome back to Asia, Kurt."

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Top image from Asia Washington Times Facebook post.