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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has called his pick for defense secretary, retired Central Command chief Gen. Lloyd Austin, a “trailblazing leader” with “deep experience … in critical Pentagon roles.” But there were two words noticeably absent from Biden’s announcement of his choice: “China” and “Indo-Pacific.”

Biden used a statement from his transition team and an op-ed in the Atlantic magazine Tuesday to explain his surprise choice of Austin, who would be the nation’s first Black defense chief.

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