Biden’s Top Asia Official Says US Military Cooperation With Allies Giving China ‘Heart Burn’

Kurt Campbell said the US will continue to expand military alliances to counter China in the region

The White House’s top Asia official said Friday that by expanding military cooperation with its allies in the region, the US is giving China “heartburn.”

Kurt Campbell, the head of Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, told the US Institute of Peace that Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed to President Biden in their recent talks that “a number of things that the United States is doing causes China some heartburn.”

“I think at the top of that list is our bilateral reinforcing and revitalizing our bilateral security alliances,” he said. Xi also made it clear to Biden that China views these efforts by the US as “Cold War thinking,” Campbell said.

Campbell pointed to the recently AUKUS pact, a military deal between the US, Britain, and Australia that will give Canberra the technology to develop nuclear-powered submarines. He said AUKUS is a deal of “open architecture” and expects other countries in Europe and Asia would participate over time.

President Biden has also taken steps to boost ties with the Quad, which is made up of the US, Japan, Australia, and India. Campbell said Japan has agreed to host a meeting of the group in 2022. To hawks in Washington, the Quad is viewed as a potential foundation for an anti-China NATO-style alliance in Asia.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.