Donald Trump is leading America to take the initiative to develop strategic policies that will address China’s inappropriate behavior and hold its leaders accountable.
PRESIDENT-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Taiwan early this month shattered the tired political wisdom of the Washington establishment regarding China and the island the mainland considers a breakaway province.
It sent a powerful message to Beijing that major change is coming in America’s foreign policy.
Trump’s conversation with the Taiwanese president was startling but not naive. In fact, his exchange with President Tsai Ing-wen has paved the way for new and hopeful ties between Washington and key allies.
Realities can be stubborn friends or enemies, and the facts surrounding America’s relationship with China show it has been a one-way arrangement for many years, particularly for the past eight. It is time for America to respond more firmly to China’s aggressive and unproductive behavior.
The evidence is beyond dispute. China has proved time and again that it is an untrustworthy partner for the United States.
Despite acquiring permanent, normal trade-relation status, China continues currency manipulation and other unacceptable behaviors. Just recently, the U.S. criticized China for its lack of transparency and charged it with violating tariff quota agreements on corn, wheat and rice.
Further, Chinese state-sponsored and state-owned companies have maintained aggressive cyberattacks against the U.S.
Millions of Americans’ most personal and sensitive financial information are now in the hands of the Chinese.
That’s not to mention that economic espionage, including the attempted stealing of trade secrets of U.S. companies, persists. China does not suitably protect intellectual property. Who knows how they’ll use that sensitive information in the future.
China defies international laws and norms with its aggressive expansionist agenda in the South China Sea. It builds up islands, and then claims territorial rights. China in recent weeks has claimed to have militarized the Spratly Islands.
Perhaps most significantly, Beijing has done nothing to control the renegade state of North Korea.
Today, North Korea has ballistic missile technology. Realistically, if nothing changes, North Korea will within a few years have miniaturized its nuclear warheads to fit onto ballistic missiles that will have the capacity to hit America’s west coast.
Our friends and allies in Asia are seriously concerned by what is happening in the region. They recognize that the current U.S. strategy toward China and North Korea is in shambles and are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to partner with the U.S. to develop a new long-term approach to bring security and economic prosperity to the region.
Americans who have had their personal data stolen by the Chinese or have lost their jobs to unfair competition from the Chinese are thankful for Trump’s strong approach.
He is leading America to take the initiative to develop strategic policies that will address China’s inappropriate behavior and hold its leaders accountable.
Another effect of Trump’s approach will be improved ties between the U.S. and countries in the region like Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, among others.
They’ve been yearning for an America that will lead and work with them in a collaborative way to deal more effectively with the emerging threats emanating from China.
Sure, it was just one small conversation by phone. But it was also one giant wake-up call.