Trump and China

Sumantra Maitra uses a Federalist column to highlight one little-discussed element of the Trump administration: its overall approach toward China.

The Trump administration consolidated its balancing China policy in Asia, as highlighted in the latest National Security Strategy, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis’s visit to India for the first-ever Indo-U.S. bilateral and defense talks.

This as China is rapidly modernizing its navy and testing hypersonic missiles that could be used as an anti-satellite weapon. It’s not the only big foreign policy move this week. Washington cancelled $350 million in subsidies for Palestine and withheld $300 million worth of military assistance to Pakistan, enormous amounts of wasted taxpayer money that could ideally be redirected for domestic purposes.

All of those moves fade in comparison to a visible balancing China approach, which could be the legacy foreign policy move of the Trump administration, if the president can stay away from needless interventionism in the next two years. Predictably, this hasn’t gotten much mention in the news media, which remains busy with toxic domestic politics.

Regardless, this forms a significant and possibly defining development of the Trump administration’s policy regarding China. China is, per academic consensus, the chief potential peer rival and adversary great power for the United States.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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