Sun, Jul 21, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Stay the Course on China: An Open Letter to President Trump

By James E. Fanell

Dear President Trump,

Over America’s exceptional history, successive generations have risen to the challenge of protecting and furthering our founding principles, and defeating existential threats to our libertie s and those of our allies. Today, our generation is challenged to do the same by a virulent and increasingly dangerous threat to human freedoms — the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through the nation it misrules: the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Chinese communists’ stated ambitions are antithetical to America’s strategic interests, and the PRC is increasingly taking actions that imperil the US and its allies. The past 40 years during which America pursued an open policy of “engagement” with the PRC have contributed materially to the incremental erosion of US national security.

This cannot be permitted to continue.

China is not as we wish it to be. In our political system, politics is the norm and war is the exception. It is explicitly the opposite in the PRC’s worldview. Going forward, we must better understand and deal with this dangerous asymmetry.

We the undersigned are encouraged by the broad and coherent strategy of robust, alternative policies you have adopted to confront the PRC’s campaign to undermine the national interests of the US and its allies. We encourage you to stay the course on your path of countering communist China.

We acknowledge and support your robust National Security Strategy that properly sets forth why the US must counter the PRC. Opposing the advance of tyranny is fully in keeping with the founding principles of America and its rich heritage of defending freedom and liberty, both at home and, where necessary, abroad.

We note the PRC does not recognize the principles and rules of the existing international order, which under a Pax Americana has enabled the greatest period of peace and global prosperity in humankind’s history. The PRC rejects this order ideologically and in practice. China’s rulers openly proclaim and insist on a new set of rules to which other nations must conform, such as their efforts to dominate the East and South China seas and the so-called “Belt and Road Initiative,” with its debt-trap diplomacy, designed to extend such hegemony worldwide. The only persistently defining principle of the CCP is the sustainment and expansion of its power.

Over the past 40 years of Sino-American relations, many American foreign policy experts did not accurately assess the PRC’s intentions or attributed the CCP’s reprehensible conduct to the difficulties of governing a country of 1.3 billion people. American policymakers were told time and again by these adherents of the China-engagement school that the PRC would become a “responsible stakeholder” once a sufficient level of economic modernization was achieved. This did not happen and cannot, so long as the CCP rules China.

The PRC routinely and systematically suppresses religious freedom and free speech, including the imprisonment of more than 1 million citizens in Xinjiang and the growing suppression of Hong Kong’s autonomy. The PRC also routinely violates its obligations, as it does with the WTO, freedom of navigation and the protection of coral reefs in the South China Sea. Beijing then demands that its own people and the rest of the world accept its false narratives and justifications, demands aptly termed as “Orwellian nonsense.”

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