Confronting China Must Be a U.S. Priority https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/politics-current-affairs/2019/07/confronting-china-must-be-a-u-s-priority/

July 22, 2019 | Nikki Haley

In recent decades, the Peoples’ Republic of China has experienced rapid and dramatic economic growth; under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, it has used its newfound economic might to pursue an aggressive foreign policy, menacing its neighbors while seeking to expand its influence around the globe. Nikki Haley examines the threat posed by Beijing, and how the U.S. can counter it. (Free registration may be required.)

[China] has seized islands in the South China Sea and built military facilities on them, in violation of promises to the former U.S. president Barack Obama (among others) not to [do so]. It has punished Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia over maritime disputes, cutting their underwater acoustic cables and attacking their fishing fleets. It has violated Taiwan’s airspace and kidnapped dissidents and critics in Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Those kidnapped include citizens of Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Chinese officials say they have no interest in the politics of foreign countries, but their habit of bribing foreign officials has ignited corruption scandals in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Angola, and elsewhere. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Xi’s signature initiative to extend loans and build infrastructure around the world, relies heavily on corrupt financing arrangements that burden foreign governments with debt they cannot afford to repay.

In addition, China subverts academic freedom in universities in the United States and elsewhere through its government-funded Confucius Institutes. These organizations spread propaganda and sometimes manage to squelch discussion of topics embarrassing to China, such as the conquest of Tibet and the camps in Xinjiang Province, where Beijing claims to be “reeducating” an estimated one million Chinese Muslims.

To counter Chinese threats to U.S. vital interests, it is necessary for us to think creatively and courageously—and without any illusions about our adversary’s intentions. To begin with, we should revise our regulations on trade and investment, especially in the high-tech sector, so that China can no longer exploit our openness.

Read more on Foreign Affairs: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2019-07-18/how-confront-advancing-threat-china