White House adviser Laura Rosenberger, who was instrumental in policy decisions related to Taiwan and China, will leave her post in March, the Western Journal reported. The move was pre-planned but comes weeks after a Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the U.S. and amid growing tensions.
As senior director of the National Security Council and special assistant to President Joe Biden, Rosenberger has helped the president navigate an increasingly hostile relationship. However, she is leaving just as the situation threatens to come to a head.
"Under President Biden, we are more prepared to outcompete China and advance a free and open Indo-Pacific than ever before," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan claimed. "Since the first day of the administration, Laura’s skilled diplomacy and tenacity have been essential to this administration priority, and we are immensely grateful for her service," he said.
Sarah Beran, currently the State Department's deputy executive secretary, will replace Rosenberger. Beran previously served in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs and will be joined by deputy Rush Doshi who is leaving as China director at the National Security Council.
Although it was planned in advance, this shakeup comes at a pivotal time. On Feb. 4, the U.S. took down a Chinese spy balloon that had crossed the continent over the course of several days.
This has added to growing uneasiness with the communist nation. Earlier this month, China said it was interested in adding to its presence in Antarctica, Fox News reported.
China will bolster its Zhongshan Station research base which opened on the frozen continent in 1989 as a geological, glacial, and marine research facility. However, the communist regime has been using it to fortify its military activities in recent years.
"In 2021, state media revealed that China had put a LIDAR — a laser radar — into the Zhongshan Station to conduct ‘atmospheric research,'" Rick Fisher, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said. "Any kind of laser raises the possibility that the LIDAR could be upgraded to be a far more powerful laser."
A powerful laser could be used against its enemies' satellites. There are also worries that China is positioning itself for space travel and the use of weapons that deorbit before striking the target -- and it's concerning what that target might be.
"The United States, Germany, Norway, perhaps other countries also had space probe facilities in Antarctica," Fisher pointed out. "However, none of them are developing Fractional Orbital Bombardment Systems (FOBS), as is China," he pointed out.
"If you're going to be attacking the United States in that manner — traversing Antarctica — it is extremely useful to have the ability to update a FOBS bus," Fisher said. That could mean hypersonic missiles with a nuclear payload aimed at the U.S. with an accurate way to deliver them.
"Zhongshan base is becoming … a surveillance location from which to be able to better target American satellites," Fisher said. "It’s a base that will … be able to guide new Chinese space weapons to American targets."
This is all happening as Biden is losing his policy adviser for the region. However, Biden will also lose Eric Green, who is retiring from his job as senior director for Russia and Central Asia at the NSC as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine moves into its second year, Bloomberg reported.
There's no doubt that the Biden administration is up to its eyeballs in international problems. However, there isn't much hope that they're getting closer to solving them, especially while losing key personnel.