The future of American ties to China

Ben Weingarten asks in a Federalist column whether now is the time for the American government to cut ties with its communist Chinese counterpart.

Perhaps the most momentous part of the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS) was its acknowledgment that the U.S. government’s historical premise “that support for China’s rise and for its integration into the post-war international order would liberalize China” was wrong. Recent events indicate that not only was the theory underlying all U.S.-China policy for nearly 50 years incorrect, but that perhaps the opposite is true: Support for China’s rise and for its integration into the post-war international order has actually illiberalized America.

Stated differently, there is a case to be made that since President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, the United States has become more like China than China has become like us. We may have been sowing the seeds of our own destruction. …

… If we desire to retain our liberties, we Americans, and all Westerners, have to ask ourselves some tough questions: Do we want to be active collaborators with a regime that ultimately seeks to dominate us? Is there any way to engage in commerce in areas of strategic import or societal influence without the CCP corroding us, while we strengthen it? Can one have a “win-win” relationship with a regime whose chief ambition is global hegemony, and that believes in engaging in unrestricted warfare to achieve it?

Or, is decoupling—among other things, restructuring the world economic architecture developed over the last 40 years, including ripping apart global supply chains—or at a minimum the credible threat to do so, the only ultimate option to cause fundamental change?

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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