China and its apologists
Apologists for China like Thomas Donohue's U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and numerous leading politicians in the U.S. say that decoupling from China is both unadvisable and hard to do. They are wrong on the first point but right on the second.
China makes no bones about it: the Chinese intend to, if not rule the world, then at the very least dominate it. That is Beijing's strategic ambition in the coming decades. China's values are not our values, and they never will be as long as the communists remain in power. The threat posed by China is not just to the United States, but to the Western world's very concept of democracy and civilized norms. The equation is simple and straight forward. The stronger China becomes, the greater threat it is. Hence, it is not merely advisable to decouple from China. It is imperative.
Why does this not faze the USCC and many in the political class? T he answer is money — that is, money for them, a select few, at the expense of the many. Donohue's Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of big international corporations and Wall Street. It could not care less what it costs Main Street for America to keep accommodating China as long as its fat-cat clients can continue to reap large profits from doing so. It's the same with politicians. One way or another, Chinese money finds its way into their pockets so they're willing to shortchange the U.S. national interest. Take Joe Biden, the Democrat presidential standard-bearer. He isn't called China Joe for nothing. While Biden was vice president, his corrupt son Hunter made millions from cozy insider deals with the Chinese Communist Party. It is no wonder Biden has China openly rooting for him in the November election. And who knows what the Chinese are doing for Biden under the table?
But decoupling is easier said than done. Since the time of the Bill Clinton administration, the integration of China into the U.S. economy has proceeded step by step. It has to be demolished as it was built — systematically.
President Donald Trump started the process of demolishing it when he served notice during the 2016 campaign that the China trade was overall a detriment to the United States.
And despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the special-interest crowd, the president began the work. He imposed stiff tariffs on China and is now requiring Chinese officials to get permission to visit universities and local officials. Trump has banned Huawei's 5G from the U.S. and is encouraging other countries to do the same. He has restricted many high-tech exports to China, which is hurting China's advanced industries. And the president has been vocal on encouraging Western businesses to relocate their supply chains out of China.
As China grows richer and more powerful, it becomes ever more dangerous. But despite China's impressive growth, its future depends on an America that continues to accommodate it. Here is a short summary of China's dependencies and what it needs from the U.S.:. 1) access to the America markets, 2) U.S. universities to educate their brightest, 3) the ability to steal intellectual property and trade secrets with abandon, 4) trade agreements tilted in its favor, and 5) food and energy. In matters of trade, America holds the commanding heights.
President Trump is addressing each one of these factors predicated on what is good for America, not China. This is a 180-degree change from previous administrations. But it will take at least a second term to decouple from China to the point necessary. China's best hope to stop this process cold and continue its march forward is a Joe Biden presidency. Hopefully, the American people will not throw China that lifeline.