The White House’s top official for Asia said America’s position in the region has “slipped” as an assertive China makes advances across the region.

“I think we recognise that the United States has a lot of work to do,” Kurt Campbell, the US coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, said Tuesday during an event hosted by the Asia Society. “We have historically a strong position in Asia. That position has slipped and we are at risk, and we need to make substantial investments across the board.”

Campbell’s remarks come as the Biden administration reviews its policies toward China and the two nations clash on everything from the South China Sea to technology and human rights. He said American policies in Asia were aimed in large part at dissuading Chinese President Xi Jinping and his advisers from a belief that the US is in a “hurtling” decline.

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