It is time for the United States government to take a stronger stance on China. The Republican Party is back in control of the federal government. It traditionally supports American business and confident, assertive foreign policy. Republicans maligned the Obama administration for years for orchestrating a retreat of U.S. influence globally while apologizing profusely for American values and for the actions taken in defense of them. An emblematic moment was the gut-wrenching images beamed onto our televisions of American sailors on their knees surrendering to Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen after accidentally wandering into Iranian waters. Obama surrendered, and we are a nation that does not surrender.
It is time to apply this logic to China. First of all, China is the key actor preventing the unification of Korea. China is North Korea’s main trading partner and effectively the underpinning of its military readiness and economy. China does not dictate to the fanatics who run North Korea, but it is the main foreign actor who has their ear. Were the Chinese Communist Party willing to tolerate a liberal democracy and free capitalist society on its border, it would stop propping up the historical anachronism that enslaves over eighteen million people. Instead, the Kim crime family is allowed to race towards ever-greater nuclear capabilities. Not only does Pyongyang have enough artillery pointed at the South Korean capital of Seoul to annihilate its residents in hours and have the capability to hit any part of that country with a nuclear missile, it now has demonstrated the ability to hit American bases in ally Japan with missiles and is on the cusp of being able to hit the continental United States. This is unacceptable. Hiding behind a Chinese umbrella, an irrational regime is being allowed to leverage its slave labor society to develop the ability to kill American citizens with nuclear weapons.
This is only China’s biggest offense. The Chinese government is also acting with breathtaking aggression in the South China Sea. Everyone is familiar at this point with their building of artificial islands for “marine biology research” and the like, which mysteriously end up having long runways and military installments. Our allies’ claims to these waters are being trampled by the arrogant Chinese tiger – the Philippines, Japan, Brunei and others are concerned and looking for American leadership and aid. Increasing our naval presence in the area is the right move, but likely won’t suffice to reverse the effects of Chinese aggression. Something more consequential is needed, and it is up to our leaders to determine what that is. American boots on artificial ground in international waters doesn’t violate the Geneva Convention.
A final complaint about China is its trading practices. The issue of currency manipulation is a distraction at the moment. The Chinese government is actually frantically propping up the value of its currency rather than depreciating it and has been for many months; this is because capital has been fleeing the slowing, debt-ridden Chinese economy. A much bigger issue is the strong-arming and looting of American companies. Take the example of Ford, which is being forced to manufacture in China in partnership with a Chinese company in order to avoid a 25% tariff. The forcing of partnerships with domestic companies is even worse than the value-distorting tariffs, because it facilitates coerced transfer or theft of intellectual capital from West to East. In the past companies like Caterpillar and Uber have actually lost money on such partnerships after having their intellectual property looted. This is unacceptable. In its desperation to maintain its own control over a sluggish economy and an increasingly independent Chinese citizenry demanding its rights, the Chinese Communist Party is expropriating American business and incubating nuclear threats to the U.S. and its allies. The U.S. Government must put an end to the current dynamic quickly.