In China, We Distrust

CHINA IS RETALIATING against the United States’ closure of the consulate in Houston, ordering the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu in retaliation.

Beijing has not taken what would have been a more provocative line of action against the US diplomatic operation in Hong Kong. The Chengdu consulate, which has about 200 staff, does, however, monitor Tibet.

The announcement was measured:

The current situation in China-U.S. relations is not what China desires to see, and the United States is responsible for all this. We once again urge the United States to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.

This stands in marked contrast to another combative speech by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo :

We must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come, that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it.

As President Trump has made very clear, we need a strategy that protects the American economy, and indeed our way of life. The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.

Pompeo was speaking on July 23 at the presidential library of former President Richard Nixon, whose 1972 China visit heralded the re-establishment of relations between the United States and China.

It was the fourth in a series of speeches by senior members of the Trump administration setting out US policy towards China. The others were by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on the ideological aspects of the relationship, FBI Director Christopher Wray on espionage and Attorney General William Barr on the economics.

Pulled together by Pompeo’s, the four speeches lay out what the administration says are the massive imbalances in that relationship that have built up over decades since the Nixon visit and the Chinese Communist Party’s designs for hegemony. Or in Pompeo’s words, ‘What do the American people have to show now 50 years on from engagement with China? ‘

The consequence of ‘the hard truth’ was that;

The only way to truly change communist China is to act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave. And you can see American policy responding to this conclusion. President Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of “trust but verify.” When it comes to the CCP, I say we must distrust and verify.

‘Distrust and verify’ is the new containment.

2 Comments

Filed under China-U.S.

2 responses to “In China, We Distrust

  1. The good news is, as soon as Biden gets in office, all this stupidity is over. It will be a return to sanity and normalcy, and an end to warmongering with China.

    • China Bystander

      A Biden administration in the United States would certainly change the tone of the bilateral relationship, but not, perhaps, the direction so much. The word we get from Washington is that attitudes towards China have changed both among lawmakers and the US public. –CB

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