Since 1972, when Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit China while in office, the United States has hoped that China would become a democracy-loving country, an ally, and an economic partner.
Despite these hopes, the opposite has happened. China has taken advantage of the U.S. through years of unfair trade practices, and become America’s biggest 21st-century threat.
In 1979, the U.S. awarded China most favored nation status, which guarantees equal trading practices, with hopes that America would be able to access China’s huge economic potential. Instead, China has used that status to take advantage of America’s economy with practices that undermine fair and reciprocal trade.
According to the White House, For many years, China has pursued industrial policies and unfair trade practices—including dumping, discriminatory non-tariff barriers, forced technology transfer, overcapacity, and industrial subsidies—that champion Chinese firms and make it impossible for many United States firms to compete on a level playing field. China also imposes much higher tariffs on United States exports than the United States imposes on China, with China’s average tariff rate nearly three times higher than the average United States rate.
Not only that, for decades our government has handed over information, technology, military know-how, intelligence, and advice to the Chinese, always hoping that China would one day become a friend, and a free-market loving country. But that hasn’t happened, and what the U.S. hasn’t voluntarily given to China they have stolen.
China has embarked on one of the most successful technological espionage programs in history, stealing know-how from America and making leaps and bounds to catch up with us both militarily and economically.
According to the Trump administration, China has aggressively sought to obtain technology from American companies and undermine American innovation and creativity. The cost of China’s intellectual property theft costs United States innovators billions of dollars a year, and China’s aggressive technology policies put 44 million American technology jobs at risk.
Since 2018, the FBI has about a thousand investigations involving China’s attempted theft of U.S.-based technology, and FBI Director Christopher Wray called the threat China poses “the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality”
The Chinese are also engaged in a wide-scale espionage program according to a new report, a “deliberate, state-sponsored effort to circumvent the costs of research, overcome cultural disadvantages and ‘leapfrog’ to the forefront by leveraging the creativity of other nations.” In 2018 it was reported that China hacked a Navy contractor and secured a trove of highly sensitive data on submarine warfare which is just the latest instance of “one of the most widespread, relentless, and successful industrial and technological espionage programs in history.”
Attorney General William Barr spoke about the fundamental challenge this poses to the United States. According to the Washington Examiner, Barr said, “The Chinese have embarked on a very aggressive program during this time of stealing and cheating in order to overtake us. When they steal our secrets about future technology, they’re stealing the future of the American people.”
Yet for years, American politicians and leaders have sat around and done nothing, not realizing or not caring about the threats posed to the United States and to democracy everywhere by Beijing’s communist regime.
President Trump has been one of just a few politicians to take a tough stance against China, raise the alarm over the dangers they pose, and go head to head with Beijing.
The President has already taken steps toward combatting Beijing’s attempts to undermine the United States, and even before he entered office, Trump was raising the alarm about China’s desire to overtake us.
Trump’s trade war with China is a step in the right direction, and though painful at times, especially for American farmers, China can not be allowed to continue its unfair trade practices. By applying pressure through tariffs and trade barriers, The U.S. will force China to change its longstanding destructive trade habits, level the playing field for American companies, and continue to strengthen America’s economy.
The U.S. must also take further steps to combat China’s theft of technology and intelligence from America and develop a plan to end China’s dominance of critical supplies and infrastructure, bring back domestic manufacturing, and invest in Western hemisphere countries, giving economic know how to friendly Governments in the region.
As we enter the beginning stages of a new cold war, the United States must wake up to the fact that China is not our friend and poses the biggest geopolitical threat to America’s freedom in the 21st century.
We have tried for decades to turn China into a democracy, but instead, they have used that to further their communist agenda and their plan to overtake the U.S. as the world superpower.
If we hope to win, we must recognize the danger and take the necessary steps, however painful, to once again smash communism and secure democracy for Americans and for people around the world.