Peter Morici: Correcting Biden’s Chinese Policy
China’s global ambitions pose an existential threat to Western democracy, prosperity, and security, but the Biden administration, concerned with national economic renewal and social justice, has failed to formulate a comprehensive policy.
Cooperation on climate change may materialize, but the consequences for economic competition – fundamentally trade and investment relations – and the Chinese military remain paramount.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s nine-month review of Chinese policy brought little change. It continues negotiations with an adversary who will not offer substantial concessions or honor the commitments of past agreements, and is embarking on a radical transformation of its socialist market economy aimed at burying democratic capitalism.
After 11 months, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has yet to come up with a comprehensive plan and budget to counter Chinese intimidation in the Pacific and the growing reach of its military in the Persian Gulf and to reverse the deterioration of the United States. combat readiness of the US fleet.
The Chinese military could easily overwhelm Taiwan’s defenses. The US military would be unable to respond effectively because China might deny US forces sea and air access.
America just needs to do what progressives seem incapable of conceiving, rebuild the international economic system on the basis of strong market disciplines but which encircle China, lest it abuse markets to finance, buy, steal. and outperform the West in transformational technologies – semiconductors, biotechnology and medicine, artificial intelligence, non-fossil fuel, electronic vehicles and batteries.
The Chinese recognize that manufacturing is at the center of it all. And the software will follow the hardware – the leading country in the field of electric vehicles will provide the market to stimulate the development of autonomous driving technology.
In critical areas, the United States must completely withdraw from China. As the pandemic has demonstrated, even partial dependence on China can severely disrupt U.S. and Western supply chains at large. Consider what this leverage could mean in a head-to-head against Taiwan.
The US market is not large enough to support R&D and production on a scale sufficient to compete with China if Beijing negotiates preferential market access through regional agreements with European or Pacific countries, and establishes industrial standards while America is on the sidelines.
Just as we pressure banks and businesses to disclose their support for socially responsible and green activities, so should we do stakes in Chinese tech companies and their major clients.
The US fleet needs to be beefed up to include more smaller ships, drones and other agile forces capable of operating closer to Chinese territorial waters and quickly inflicting crippling damage to its fleet within days. And Taiwan’s inadequate defenses must be strengthened against an invasion with more American support.
We must say calmly to Beijing, lest President Xi Jinping lose face, that invading Taiwan or occupying one of its small islands would result in an immediate naval war and a blockade of access to oil from the Middle East. without time or interest in diplomacy.
Xi has made clear his intentions to retake Taiwan, and only with a sharp enough American sword can war be avoided. It is only with contained China that the world will be safe for our children.