Trump made progress, but not enough. Biden has set America back. It’s time to be bold and creative.
A few months after I left the United Nations, I gave a speech to the Asian Leadership Conference about communist China. I warned about its growing military power, its aggression and its threat to America’s survival. I urged U.S. leaders to “think about China critically, creatively and courageously.”
Four years later, they have failed to meet this challenge.
Donald Trump deserves credit for upending the failed bipartisan consensus that trading with China would free China. Yet he was singularly focused on trade, doing too little about the rest of the Chinese threat. Mr. Trump even congratulated the Communist Party on its 70th anniversary of conquering China. He should have condemned it.
Joe Biden’s record is much worse. He has refused to investigate seriously China’s coverup of Covid’s origins, done little to stop the expansion of China’s footprint on our homeland, and failed to address China’s key role in the fentanyl crisis. He has weakened the U.S. military and played into China’s negotiating hand with his obsessive focus on climate issues.
The Communist Party is preparing China for war. Xi Jinping has said it. America has to stop wasting time. That was true four years ago, when I called on our leaders to act. It’s even truer now. Here is my comprehensive plan to confront China:
- Root out Chinese influence in the U.S.Chinese investors have bought nearly 400,000 acres of American land, much of it near military bases. I’ll do everything in my power to prevent China from buying any more land and force it to sell what it already owns. In education, China is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to American universities and seeking research partnerships with military applications. I will push to eliminate federal funding for universities that take Chinese money and ban propaganda centers on campus. The U.S. government should also ban all lobbying from the Communist Party and Chinese companies, which are front groups for the regime.
Then there’s fentanyl. Chinese companies make nearly all the precursor chemicals that Mexican cartels turn into this deadly drug. I will push Congress to revoke permanent normal trade relations until the flow of fentanyl ends. If China wants normal trade, it has to stop killing Americans.
- Protect our economy.I’m a firm believer in economic freedom. But I also agree with Adam Smith that defense “is of much more importance than opulence.” National security is affected by almost every part of our relationship with China. Beijing knows it and uses American investment and innovation to strengthen its military.
American companies sell billions of dollars worth of goods in the Chinese market, much of it with military application. China also forces technology transfer and steals up to $600 billion of American intellectual property every year. I will push American businesses to leave China as completely as possible.
Advanced technology is especially important. The U.S. Commerce Department keeps a detailed list of the most sensitive technologies that are dangerous to export, but companies can still send them to China. In 2022 the Biden administration approved 70% of licenses for exporting controlled technology to China. I will end these exports.
- Transform the U.S. military. It’s the best way to keep the peace. China is investing more than ever in hypersonic missiles, nuclear weapons, space and cyber warfare, and a cutting-edge navy. The U.S. is at risk of falling behind in each area. The Pentagon must cut through the bureaucracy and field new weapons faster than ever. We can’t wait 50 years, or even five years. China isn’t.
The U.S. should simultaneously deepen military ties with Japan, South Korea and Australia, and forge stronger bonds with India and the Philippines. We must push Europeans to recognize that China threatens them as much as us. And we should give Taiwan everything it needs to defend itself and ward off a Chinese invasion. If China attacks, it will trigger the war that none of us want.
We must also help Ukraine quickly and decisively defeat the Russians. China is closely watching American resolve in Ukraine. China threatens Taiwan every day. Failure in Europe will encourage war in Asia.
Mr. Biden isn’t up to the task of protecting America from communist China. He can do much damage in his remaining 18 months in office. But the damage must end when Mr. Biden’s term ends.
China has spent decades preparing to fight. America is now in a dangerous situation against a powerful enemy. The hour is late, but it isn’t too late to wake up and take charge of our future. If we rally now, the Chinese Communist Party will end up on the ash-heap of history, like the Soviet Communist Party before it.
Ms. Haley is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. She served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (2017-18) and governor of South Carolina (2011-17). This op-ed is adapted from a speech Ms. Haley will deliver Tuesday to the American Enterprise Institute.
Copyright ©2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
Appeared in the June 27, 2023, print edition as ‘My Plan to Confront the Chinese Threat’.