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Biden national security strategy calls China biggest threat, sees Russia diminished by Ukraine invasion

The U.S. considers Russia an "immediate" geopolitical challenge but sees China as a much more consequential long-term threat, according to President Biden's national security strategy released Wednesday, after a delay prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February. In fact, the Ukraine war "has profoundly diminished Russia's status vis-a-vis China and other Asian powers such as India and Japan," the declassified 48-page document says. 

Russia and China "pose different challenges," the national security strategy says. "Russia poses an immediate threat to the free and open international system, recklessly flouting the basic laws of the international order today," while China, "by contrast, is the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to advance that objective."

"We have entered a decisive decade with respect to two fundamental strategic challenges," National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Wednesday: "Geopolitical competition" with China and "the sheer scale and speed of transnational challenges that do not respect borders or adhere to international rules," including pandemics, inflation, climate change, and food and energy scarcities. "The post-Cold War era is definitely over," he added. 

"Moscow's soft power and diplomatic influence have waned," the national security documents says, "while its efforts to weaponize energy have backfired. The historic global response to Russia's war against Ukraine sends a resounding message that countries cannot enjoy the benefits of global integration while trampling on the core tenets of the U.N. Charter."

Every new U.S. presidential administration is required to send Congress its national security strategy, and Biden's shares some aspects in common with the strategies of his predecessors. But his "strategy is notable for its erasure of the distinctions between domestic and foreign policy; it argues that the source of U.S. strength will come from a reaffirmation of the nation's democratic traditions," The New York Times reports. And it emphasizes the need to reinvigorate key technology development and manufacturing, starting with domestic production of advance semiconductors.