“Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific under Obama, said Biden would take steps to avoid military escalation resulting from miscommunication.

“But ‘the crux of the difference if Joe Biden were elected president would be that we would have a president who set the policy,’ said Russel, now with the Asia Society Policy Institute. He said that U.S. actions in the South China Sea in recent years — such as freedom of navigation operations — did not come from Trump, but from agencies such as the State Department and the Pentagon…”

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