National Review, Feb. 16, 2023
“… the best way to peacefully manage our relationship with an increasingly aggressive China is to do so from a position of renewed American strength on multiple fronts — strengths that will deter China’s militarism, deny China the economic and technological leverage over the U.S. that it intends to use against our interests, blunt China’s campaign on the world stage to deconstruct the international order built by the world’s democracies, and, over time, show China that moderation is its best path to a cooperative relationship with the U.S. and its allies.”
My fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk to you about the great foreign-policy challenge of our time — our strategy to contend with an increasingly ambitious and bellicose China. I speak to you to explain our approach to this challenge in ways that encompass and bring together many different efforts across our government and our country.
Over the past few decades, American strategy toward the People’s Republic of China has been all over the map, both literally and figuratively. On the one hand, in some places our interactions with China are oriented toward confrontation. If you were to look only at our geopolitical and military rivalry with China in East Asia, you might conclude that we are in a cold war with China that could well turn hot — mostly over territorial disputes in the region. On the other hand, our economic dealings with China are generally focused on cooperation and integration, especially in the commercial sphere.
China is our third-largest trading partner and by far the largest exporter of goods to the United States. Our countries are economically intertwined in a very comprehensive way.
Some American corporations, sports leagues, and Hollywood studios go further than that and bend over backwards to accommodate the Chinese government’s demands to control speech and economic activity. This is disappointing. Conversely, nongovernmental organizations and the parts of our government that are concerned with human rights and religious freedom rightly condemn China as one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet today. In other areas, ranging from technology to espionage to cyber warfare to asserting global influence, we say that China is a competitor, but we have no comprehensive plan to compete across these and other spheres.
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