China House” within the US State department

This individual (Rick Waters) will be heading the newly created “China House” within the State department. This is a newly created division to coordinate strategy against China. By KJ of SF Bay Area China Group 12/19/23

This is a 4 min video of him speaking.
Your candid impressions and observations would be appreciated.

The language, for me, was pretty standard boilerplate from the SD.

However, I watched it carefully, and his body language and expressions caught my eye: they are chilling to watch and listen to.

He is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific (notice, it is not “indo-pacific” at SD despite their constantly going on about the Indo-pacific).

Despite just reciting SD boilerplate, there is an air of menace about him.

It seems to me like he is auditioning to be an understudy for Anthony Hopkins (“Hannibal Lecter”) in “The silence of the lambs”.

I was trying to figure out why.

First, he seems to have no ventral vagal innervation (the vagal nerve facilitates human-to-human engagement by animating the voice, the eyes, the facial muscles, giving energy, warmth, and human expressions. He, on the contrary, is like a lizard.

Second, I counted his blink rate. A normal human blink rate is once 3-5 secs. There is a period where he goes 30 seconds without blinking.

He also says: “The US welcomes legitimate students and scholars from China…” (i.e. some of you are not legitimate).


Anyway, here’s more about the new division in the SD and the response from China.

State Dept on China House:

China House will ensure the U.S. government is able to responsibly manage our competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and advance our vision for an open, inclusive international system. Our goal in creating China House is to help deliver on elements of the Administration’s approach to the PRC.


The Biden administration on Friday launched “China House,” the centerpiece of its effort to strengthen its diplomatic heft in its global rivalry with Beijing.

The State Department-based unit is designed to eliminate silos among sometimes redundant government bodies, giving U.S. officials from within State and beyond a central clearinghouse to share information and shape policy on China, State officials told POLITICO in an exclusive preview.

The establishment of China House reflects the sense inside President Joe Biden’s team that the existing U.S. bureaucracy isn’t nimble enough to combat the multitude of challenges from communist-led China — ranging from trade to military power.

While it is essentially an internal reorganization, the creation of the unit has faced hurdles. Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, refused to sign off on the proposal for months, with his spokesperson saying it was structured as a “bureaucratic power grab.”

China House — formally known as the Office of China Coordination — replaces the China Desk in the State Department’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs bureau. The new entity will employ roughly 60 to 70 personnel, including liaisons from other parts of the department such as the Africa and Latin America bureaus, as well as people detailed from other U.S. departments and agencies who may focus on topics such as technology or economic policy.

“The sheer scale, scope, complexity and stakes of the China challenge required us to think, collaborate, organize and act differently,” a senior State Department official said. “It could not be managed alone through the bilateral desk approach.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussion involved sensitive diplomatic matters.

“China House will deepen our capacity to share information, sharpen our messaging, and adjust to breaking developments in real-time,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to tell State Department staffers on Friday, according to a draft note.

China is already investing heavily in its own diplomatic machine. It now has more diplomatic facilities overseas than the United States, according to one survey. Beijing’s spending on diplomacy has also soared in recent years and analysts say that has helped boost the quality and assertiveness of its diplomats.

U.S. spending on diplomacy, meanwhile, has remained effectively flat, as has the size of the U.S. Foreign Service, while funding, security and other factors have stymied America’s diplomatic presence.

The State Department plans won’t require new funding. Officials building it said they hope it will allow them to overcome bureaucratic hurdles that have excluded key personnel from policymaking processes and prevented information and analysis from reaching relevant diplomatic outposts and government agencies.

“The fact that we’re going to have a single, secure facility where the vast majority of people can be in at one time and participate in one conversation — I can’t overestimate to you how important that is,” the senior State Department official said. “We have not traditionally brought up our teams across the department in this way to do this kind of work.”

China House will be physically located inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom. It will have three main teams: one focused on traditional bilateral affairs; one that deals with strategic communications; and one dubbed a “global” team, which focuses on Chinese activity beyond China. A deputy assistant secretary, Rick Waters, will oversee China House as its inaugural coordinator, reporting to Assistant Secretary of State Dan Kritenbrink as well as Sherman, who oversees a high-level strategy group on China.

Former State Department officials, though broadly supportive of the need for greater resources targeting China, have warned that the China House may create a new layer of bureaucracy that will impede rather than improve efficient and timely State Department monitoring and analysis of Beijing’s activities.

Risch, at least, has been convinced otherwise. This month he announced that the State Department had made changes or pledges that allayed his concerns about its structure or who was in charge. For instance, the department agreed it would not give certain China House-related authorities to people who were not confirmed by the Senate, according to Risch.

Although they were eager to promote their plans for China House, State Department officials stressed that the overall U.S. strategy toward Beijing was about more than one unit. China House is “not the solution to upping the State Department’s game on China … it’s just part of a broader effort,” the official said.

Other steps being taken by the United States include promising to focus more on the economic side of diplomacy, an area the Chinese government prioritizes. They also include posting “regional China officers” throughout the world to monitor Chinese activity.

A test of China House’s success will be if “ambassadors in the field say, ‘I can plug in, access and benefit from the work of China House in my day to day work ‘ [whether they’re] in Riyadh, [United Arab Emirates], or South Africa,” the senior State Department official said.

Global Times:

This is evidently a step forward of the US government in an attempt to have more intense competition with China rather than cooperation, embodying that the Biden administration has pushed its China policy to a more dangerous zone.

A unit like the “China House” is not new. In October 2021, the CIA created a China Mission Center. And US President Joe Biden in February 2021 announced the formation of a Department of Defense China Task Force. Despite having different names, in essence, their functions are almost the same – to promote internal coordination and hype the so-called China threat theory, in a bid to contain China.

The creation of a unit focused on China by multiple departments in the US demonstrates that the US positioning of its relations with China is confrontation, instead of win-win cooperation that China has underlined. The US will go further on the road in antagonizing China.

Today, when the US holds summits with ASEAN, the EU, or African leaders, it will directly or indirectly involve the theme of confronting China. With the creation of units focusing on China, experts anticipate that US promotion of competition with China on bilateral, regional and global basis will become even more worrying. Notably, it may continue to demonize China in public opinion, distort China’s contribution to the international community, and further rope in its allies to contain China.

The launch of units focusing on China will be a big blow to China-US relations. In this context, current anti-China hysteria may become the mainstream of these departments of the US government. This will prevent all walks of life in the US from having an accurate understanding of China, and will not be conducive to the stability of China-US ties.

Blinken announced the creation of China House in May. And he called China the “most serious long-term threat” to the world order. How has China threatened the world order? What has triggered the US to use such rhetoric is its belief that China has challenged its global hegemony. In light of this, Washington intends to do everything possible to hinder China’s development and curb China’s influence. The international community should not have illusions that the US will sincerely seek cooperation with China.

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