Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is among the new faces named to the Defense Policy Board by President Donald Trump.
Michael Pillsbury, an expert on China, has been named the board’s chair, according to The Hill.
Lu Xiang, a senior fellow on U.S. studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Pillsbury understood America’s antagonist, according to the South China Morning Post.
“Unlike the ignorant China hawks in the US administration, Pillsbury has a passion for knowledge and is interested in understanding China,” Lu said.
Hudson Institute Chief Operating Officer John Walters, according to a statement on the organization’s website, said Pillsbury brings tremendous experience to the post.
“Mike is not only an expert on the national security threat from the Communist Party in China, he is also an experienced strategic thinker. He is dedicated to helping shape the best policy options for America and our allies,” Walters said.
Pillsbury has issued cautions about China’s long-term plans.
Washington Must Show Beijing It’s Wrong https://t.co/O774AgTiC7
— Michael Pillsbury (@mikepillsbury) November 25, 2020
U.S. Investors Are Funding Malign PRC Companies on Major Indices – United States Department of State https://t.co/Fx7Au2sATu
— Michael Pillsbury (@mikepillsbury) December 9, 2020
Pillsbury: China attempting to buy their way into democratic countries | https://t.co/TxhVi0ESiF
— Michael Pillsbury (@mikepillsbury) December 15, 2020
Last month, Trump removed several members of the board, including former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger.
Scott O’Grady, who Trump nominated in November to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, was also nominated.
Trump’s other appointees include Thomas Carter, who at one time was ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization, Edward Luttwak, Thomas Stewart, former Republican Rep. Randy Forbes of Virgina, former Republican Sen. Robert Smith of New Hampshire, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer and former National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty.
“These incoming members bring extensive defense and national security affairs experience to this advisory committee from their time in Congress, the State Department, our armed forces and beyond,” acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said in a statement. “I’m confident the Department of Defense will benefit greatly from their time and service to the board.”
As noted by The Hill, it is unclear whether the new members will actually serve. A security review and financial disclosure process must be conducted before appointees can join the panel.
Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden would be able to submit new names after Jan 20 when he is scheduled to assume the presidency.
Prior to overhauling the Defense Policy Board, Trump replaced multiple members of the Defense Business Board, a group that advises the Pentagon on its dealings with businesses.
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