‘All-of-Gov’ Approach to Counter Beijing Threat Is Warranted: Experts

July 21, 2020 Updated: July 21, 2020

An “all-of-government” national security approach has been rolled out to counter the Chinese regime’s infiltration of the United States, in a large-scale effort not seen from previous U.S. administrations, which critics say failed to properly identify the threat.

This strategy, and even the phrase itself, has been repeatedly mentioned by U.S. officials, particularly in recent months as U.S.–China relations have appeared to hit their lowest point yet. (Trump said on July 10 that he wasn’t even considering negotiating a phase two trade deal.)

The CCP has at times ignored international law and continued to aggressively pursue its global ambitions as it attempted to cover up its botched handling of the pandemic. At the same time, it pushed for the passage of the new Hong Kong national security law.

A war of words coupled with strategic action to counter Beijing’s infiltration is being seen from the United States. By one measure, under a program dubbed the “China Initiative,” arrests of CCP-linked individuals increased dramatically in the past few years.

And on July 13, the United States took its strongest action yet on the South China Sea, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stating that the State Department rejects “any PRC claim to waters,” and that “the world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.”

Meanwhile, a string of U.S. officials this year has given speeches dedicated entirely to exposing the CCP’s influence and how the different U.S. departments are handling the risks.

“We have turned the page on the weak and timid approach of the past,” Brendan Carr, one of five commissioners leading the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), told The Epoch Times.

“Across the government, U.S. leaders are unified in showing the strength and resolve needed to address the threats posed by communist China.”

The speeches have been unprecedented, both in their scope and because of the sheer number of high-profile speakers, which includes national security adviser Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr, and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell.

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment about the U.S. response, referring The Epoch Times to the series of speeches. Pompeo is also slated to speak about the issue on July 23.

One example of how this all-of-government strategy is being utilized has been the nation’s response to China’s Huawei technology, according to Carr.

“[It’s] just one example where officials from State, the Department of Justice, the FCC, and many other agencies are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to secure our networks from those that would undermine our national security,” he said.

Politicians from both parties have called out Beijing over its aggressive activities. One U.S. representative said he was heartened to see the current strategy employed by the administration.

“As a member of the House Republican China Task Force, it’s encouraging to know that not only do we have the president on our side—his entire administration has been mobilized to counter the China threat,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) told The Epoch Times.

Banks said Barr had called out U.S. tech companies “for their cozy relationship with China,” and that Wray and Pompeo have focused their agencies “on deterring China’s predatory behavior.”

“Even Secretary [Betsy] DeVos’s Education Department and the NIH have reoriented to deal with ‘Confucius Institutes’ and intellectual property theft,” he said.

Brian Kennedy, chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China, and author of “Communist China’s War Inside America,” said the administration’s strategy counters the “clear aggression of the PRC when it comes to economic, political and information warfare.”

“The U.S. has taken an all-of-government approach for the simple reason that there is not a single aspect of modern American life that the PRC does not touch in some way,” Kennedy told The Epoch Times.

“From manipulating Wall Street to stealing the intellectual property of Silicon Valley, from bullying the NBA to playing politics with agricultural output in the farm belt,” he said. “Unlike their predecessors, the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, knows that you have to meet this aggression head-on.”

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