Navarro Says ‘Arc of Toughness’ on China to Continue in Second Trump Term

Cathy He
Jan Jekielek

President Donald Trump, if reelected, will continue to take tough actions to counter threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said.

No president has ever stood up to the Chinese regime like Trump, Navarro said, citing a range of measures such as U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei, as well as sanctions to penalize Beijing’s erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong and military aggression in the South China Sea.

“In a second term, you can certainly expect that the arc of toughness on China will continue,” he said in an interview with The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders.”

“This is a president that has taken a very firm line in the sand with China, and will continue to do so.”

His comments come days before the presidential election. Both Trump and Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden have made getting tough on China a campaign platform.

Navarro said that his one “regret” during the campaign was that “we were unable to punch through the mainstream media to raise awareness among the American people that this virus did indeed come from the Chinese Communist Party, and they’re killing Americans.”

“There should be more outrage than there is. This issue should be more relevant at the ballot box,” he added.

The Trump administration has repeatedly criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its coverup of the initial outbreak in Wuhan city, causing the global spread of COVID-19.

Since early this year, the administration has confronted the CCP on a range of issues, including espionage, malign influence in the United States, security threats posed by Chinese technology, human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and its intimidation of Taiwan.

Navarro said the administration has been working on stemming the flow of American capital to the CCP, particularly its military. In May, the administration blocked investments by Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)—the main pension fund for federal government employees, including U.S. military personnel—into Chinese equities.

Before this move, the TSP was set to invest in an index run by MSCI that includes China-based stocks of companies affiliated with the Chinese military or involved in the mass surveillance of Chinese citizens. For instance, the index includes Hong Kong-listed AviChina Industry & Technology, the listing company for Chinese state-owned defense company Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC). The firm and its subsidiaries develop aircraft and weapons systems for the Chinese military.

“An American pension fund that allows its dollars to go into AVIC, which is China’s Boeing equivalent, that makes all the missiles that sink American aircraft carriers—I mean, that’s just flat out crazy,” Navarro said. “Particularly if they’re pensions of former military officials. That kind of stuff’s got to stop.”

In response to a question about Wall Street’s continuing ramp-up of investments in China, Navarro described Wall Street as “writ large a sociopath.”

“They have no morals or patriotism. It’s all about the money.”

Cathy He is the politics editor at the Washington D.C. bureau. She was previously an editor for U.S.-China and a reporter covering U.S.-China relations.
Related Topics