What America must do about China in 2022

US needs to fly into Chinese airspace in response to provocation of Taiwan: Gordon Chang

The Asia expert and Gatestone Institute senior fellow reacts to China launching air operations near Taiwan.

China’s regime attacks America every day, and every day America’s political leaders, and especially its president, refuse to react. 

Why? “The Biden administration believes climate change, not Communist China, poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security,” Len Khodorkovsky, former deputy assistant secretary of state in the Trump administration, told me at the end of last month. Therefore, President Biden has been willing to hand out free passes to Beijing as long as Chinese officials say the right things about carbon neutrality. 

Unfortunately, the Biden administration completely misunderstands the nature of the relationship with the Chinese regime. In early February, Biden in his major foreign policy speech said China is “our most serious competitor.” 

That’s not how the Communist Party of China frames the relationship. In May 2019, for instance, People’s Daily, the most authoritative publication in China, carried a piece that declared a “people’s war” on America. The hostility, unfortunately, has continued to the present day.  

Why must Americans be concerned by propaganda? The Party, with constant promotion of strident anti-Americanism, is establishing a justification to strike America.  

Biden’s administration is stuck in the failed “engagement” policies of a long-gone era.

Unfortunately, Biden is not noticing the Chinese hostility, instead becoming the master of half-measures adopted at the last moment. He obviously does not have his heart in opposing China’s regime.  

Biden’s administration is stuck in the failed “engagement” policies of a long-gone era. “Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a March address titled “A Foreign Policy for the American People.” “The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength.” 

Chinese ruler Xi Jinping, unfortunately, does not think America is strong, and the White House is reinforcing his dangerous attitudes. “The Biden China policy betrays a dangerous softness,” said Brandon Weichert of The Weichert Report to me. “Biden is ceding the future to Beijing.” 

This year is critical, according to Weichert, also author of “Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower.” “The balance of power can shift in Beijing’s favor,” he argues. “Once that happens, the movement toward a Chinese-dominated world order may be too far along for any U.S. leader to stop.” 

Paradoxically, the seemingly-unstoppable Chinese state is extremely fragile these days. The country, among other things, is entering its long-delayed debt crisis, the economy is stagnant, there are worsening food shortages, the environment is depleted and toxic, and the regime cannot control COVID-19. To make matters worse, China is on the edge of history’s steepest demographic decline in the absence of war or disease. The country is slated to lose half its population by 2065. 

“The most powerful weapon America has to reverse Xi Jinping’s march to global domination is economic,” says Khodorkovsky.  

The Communist Party can threaten America only with Washington’s acquiescence. The way to end the Chinese threat, therefore, is to stop the westward flow of money to China. That means, for instance, prohibiting investment in China’s markets and its industrial capacity, something Biden can do by invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.  

Moreover, he can encourage low-cost manufacturing to move to Central America by liberalizing the provisions of the Central America Free Trade Agreement, which came into force in 2006 and includes American friend Guatemala.  

Three times, American presidents saved the Communist Party: Nixon in 1972 during the Cultural Revolution, Bush in 1989 after the horrific Tiananmen Square massacre, and Clinton in 1999 during a downturn in the economy.  

Washington must make sure there will be no more rescues. Instead, the Biden administration should follow Reagan’s playbook targeting the Soviet economy, which led to the USSR’s failure 20 years ago. 

As Khodorkovsky asks, “Why should Americans fund the next Chinese aircraft carrier, underwrite the Uyghur genocide, or invest in the next pandemic?”

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