Sat, Aug 10, 2019 - Page 8 News List

With China, let Trump be Reagan

By Joseph Bosco

Such a robust and consistent truth campaign would be another indication that Trump’s administration recognizes that the US is in a new cold war with China, but it has been waged by only one side so far.

Some will call the approach unduly provocative, but as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said recently: “With the indispensable support of [former US] president Ronald Reagan, a human rights revolution toppled the totalitarian regimes of the former Soviet Union.”

It was accomplished without a shooting war and it started when Reagan shocked the world with his moral condemnation of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and the foreign policy establishment finally let Reagan be Reagan.

A similar approach now would offer Trump a lower-cost, lower-risk alternative than the devil’s dilemma of choosing between a new hot war or further submission to a malign communist dynasty.

Nixon’s “Red China” never changed and never went away. It is now more than four decades past time for the regime to change or be changed by its people — with a little help from friends. Like the Soviet Union before it, the People’s Republic of China has reached its 70-year expiration date.

People should stop trying to prevent Trump from being Trump when it comes to dealing with China and North Korea, such as by reversing his initial sound ZTE Corp and Huawei Technology Co bans and acceding to Beijing’s pressure to ease up on North Korea. His unorthodox instincts have created more potential progress than all the sophisticated diplomacy of his predecessors.

If there is one former president who should be emulated, let Trump be Reagan, who knew an enemy when he saw one.

Joseph Bosco served as China country director in the office of the US secretary of defense. He is a fellow at the Institute for Taiwan-American Studies and a member of the advisory committee of the Global Taiwan Institute.

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