Amid the continuing personal and economic wreckage caused by COVID-19 and with President Donald Trump himself recently contracting the disease, experts say that it’s time to respond more strongly to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The U.S. government has an assortment of tougher strategies it can employ when it comes to the CCP. Economic decoupling is frequently mentioned by experts on China, who told The Epoch Times that it’s the best way to hit back where it hurts the most.
Instead of alerting the world in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, and the fact that it was transmissible by humans, the regime in Beijing misled the world and instead tried to cover it up, allowing the virus to spread around the world. While it isn’t clear exactly when Trump contracted the virus, he said on Oct. 1 that he and the first lady had tested positive.
“The Chinese Communist Party needs to be held to account,” Brian Kennedy, chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China, and author of “Communist China’s War Inside America,” told The Epoch Times.
“One immediate way is to make sure that the Chinese government makes good on their defaulted sovereign debt held by 20,000 American families,” Kennedy said. “It would be a down payment on all the harm that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] has done to the United States and would demonstrate that the United States was going to make the PRC play by the same rules that other nations do.”
There’s been some action on this. Sens. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) have introduced a resolution calling on China to pay “$1.6 trillion owed to 20,000 American families.”
Dr. Anders Corr, the publisher of the Journal of Political Risk and founder of Corr Analytics, which provides strategic analyses of international politics, said it’s warranted to employ a tougher approach to the CCP, which itself has taken a more aggressive approach amid the international fallout over the pandemic.
“Now is the right time because Xi Jinping is hoping for a Biden presidency and will therefore be incentivized to react less aggressively to tough measures by the United States,” Corr told The Epoch Times, referring to the CCP’s leader.
“Economic decoupling from China is critical as it is through trade and investment that China is trying to influence other governments into acquiescing to a future and slowly growing Chinese hegemony.”
Chinese state media have openly voiced support for a Biden presidency, saying he would be “smoother” for the regime to deal with than Trump.
Under the Trump administration, the United States is already employing an “all-of-government” national security approach to counter the Chinese regime’s infiltration of the United States. It’s a large-scale effort not seen from previous U.S. administrations, which critics say failed to properly identify the threat posed by Beijing.
Corr said China’s assets in the United States should be seized in order to pay for the damage caused by the CCP virus. He also said U.S. debt to China “should be canceled on the same principle.”
“If China seizes U.S. assets in return, this is a necessary cost we may have to pay in the short term for decoupling,” Corr said. “In the long term, we may be able to recoup these costs through litigation.”
Other strategies could be an immediate recognition of Taiwan as a fully sovereign country and to put U.S. military bases there to protect it from the invasion that Xi has threatened, Corr said. Countries that don’t recognize Taiwan should be cut off from U.S. economic aid and trading privileges.
Diplomatically, the United States should seek to remove China from the United Nations system by barring its diplomats from entering its headquarters in New York City, according to Corr. U.S. allies such as France, Italy, and Switzerland could do the same to China’s diplomats attempting to enter U.N. offices in Geneva, Paris, and Rome.
Meanwhile, several U.S. officials this year have given speeches dedicated entirely to exposing the CCP’s infiltration of U.S. institutions, and how different U.S. departments are handling the risks. The speeches have been unprecedented, not only in their scope, but because of the sheer number of high-profile speakers, including national security adviser Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell.
Blair Brandt, a political adviser and Republican strategist, told The Epoch Times the U.S. government has a range of options and routes to take when it comes to hitting harder against the CCP.
The United States could close the Chinese Consulate in New York, have foreign policy announcements on China from the White House instead of the State Department, employ sanctions against higher-level CCP officials, and exit the phase-one trade deal as part of a decoupling process, he said.
An “America first” pledge should be rolled out by the administration to encourage major U.S. companies to make commitments to domestic manufacturing, he added. An executive order should also be signed requesting the Treasury devise a detailed plan to hold the Chinese regime accountable.
“One thing is for sure, we can’t let Wall Street—especially private equity funds, hedge funds, and certain other financial institutions, or a few large U.S.-based multinational firms with a large presence in China—determine the fate of this [U.S.-China] dynamic going forward,” Brandt said.
“Looking ahead, the decisions, even if there are short-term costs, must be evaluated purely on the standard of long-term national security for the United States of America.”