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Rubio: Targeting China’s Tools of Aggression
Targeting China’s tools of aggression
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
May 3, 2018
As U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other officials head to Beijing this week for high-stakes trade talks with Chinese counterparts, they seek to correct an economic relationship with China that has become increasingly unbalanced — and, over the long term, dangerous — for the United States and other nations. U.S. lawmakers will support them.
Since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has offered an economic grand bargain with two contradictory faces.
One face outwardly offers soaring and seductive promises of an emerging global economic order that will become more open and equitable as nations increase trade and commerce with China. Witness Chinese President Xi Jinping, who at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, gushed at how “mankind has become a close-knit community of shared future” while assuring that “China is committed to a fundamental policy of opening-up and pursues a win-win opening-up strategy.”
The other face speaks inwardly to China’s ultimate geopolitical intentions. As the 13th?National People’s Congress met this February to install Xi as effectively president for life, Xi vowed “to fight the bloody battle against our enemies” — including any nation that obstructs the “Chinese dream of national rejuvenation” — “with a strong determination to take our place in the world.”
Far too many countries, including the United States, have ignored the contradictions of China’s grand bargain on the assumption that China would liberalize economically and politically.
Unfortunately, this starry-eyed assumption has proved false. Benefiting enormously from a more open global economy to drive its own industries, the Chinese government and Communist Party have only tightened their grip on power, brutally suppressing dissent at home and pursuing policies abroad that are a far cry from the responsible global stakeholder that Xi describes.
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