Beat China: Targeted Decoupling and the Economic Long War – Congressional Report

The Trump administration’s most consequential policy will prove to be, in my opinion, a tougher stance against the People’s Republic of China. Since the 1980s, presidential candidates of both parties have run as tough on China, only to soften their positions once elected. But President Trump was the exception to this rule, and his administration pursued a campaign to harden our defenses against China’s aggressive behavior, and to sound the diplomatic alarm around the world.
This approach deserves praise, and it ought to form the starting point for a long-term, bipartisan national strategy. The ultimate objective of that strategy should be, to quote the document that launched this country’s ultimately successful strategy against the Soviet Union, the “breakup or the gradual mellowing” of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) power. Our strategy must take seriously the critical military, diplomatic, intelligence, and propaganda challenges posed by Beijing. And it must identify and account for the novel characteristics of strategic competition with an adversary such as the CCP in a nuclear and globalized age—especially the role played by economic policy. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Policy in the previous Congress, I convened two hearings on these matters in 2020, and directed my staff to conduct further research and outline a strategy for beating China within the economic dimension of our contest. This report is the fruit of that effort.
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