Biggest failure of US foreign policy in last 40 years is how we’ve dealt with China: White House

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Updated: Sep 05, 2020 10:33 AM

''Probably the biggest failure of American foreign policy over the past 40 years is how we've dealt with China,'' National Security Advisor Robert O'Brian told reporters at a White House news conference.

White house, US foreign policy, Donald Trump, COVID outbreak, Tiananmen Square, india china tensionThe United States is investing is defense and us taking strong action on the diplomatic front against the Chinese. (Reuters photo)

The manner in which successive administrations have dealt with China is the biggest foreign policy failure of the United States in the last 40 years, US’ National Security Advisor said, asserting that President Donald Trump has taken steps to reverse the course.

”Probably the biggest failure of American foreign policy over the past 40 years is how we’ve dealt with China,” National Security Advisor Robert O’Brian told reporters at a White House news conference. ”There was this mantra that somehow as China became richer, as we turned a blind eye to Chinese malign activity with they stealing our IP or engaging in unfair trade practices or bullying its neighbours, bullying its own people at Tiananmen Square, if we would turn the other cheek, turn a blind eye that China would become richer. As it became richer and the middle class in China grew, they’d become more like us,” he said.

”We want to believe that yeah that everyone wants to become like us, though become more western, more democratic. In fact, all the opposite occurred. China’s human rights violation have gotten worse and worse over the years, whether it’s the leaders or religious minorities or their neighbours, the people who enjoy democracy in Hong Kong until just recently, the bullying of Taiwan. So we’ve seen very malign Chinese activity,” O’Brian said.

The theft of intellectual property has gotten so bad that Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI recently called it the greatest wealth transfer in human history was a theft by the Chinese of our intellectual property, he said.

”Now, that’s not just an abstract concept, okay” That’s sweat equity. That’s American innovators. That’s people that are putting their whole life into dreams. People have invented things in their garages. People who’ve built companies, who’ve done everything they can to create an idea and turn an idea into reality. And then what happens” That idea gets stolen by China,” he said.

”It’s not just that they’ve lost the economic value of their innovation or of their method of doing business, the Chinese have taken it sometimes using slave labour but using cheaper labour, often manufactured of products that compete at a lower price and then put the original person who invented the technology out of business and then kill the industry from the United States and whole industries go to China. Whole manufacturing plants go to China,” he said.

It has been really astounding, O’Brien said.  ”Christopher Wray also said that the FBI is opening a new espionage case against the Chinese every 10 hours. I mean, escape scope of Chinese activity against the United States is relentless. We’ve never seen anything like it. There’s nothing like this in the Cold War with the Soviets,” he said.

President Trump, he said, has stood up to the Chinese. For the first time in 40 years, he put tariffs on the Chinese.
”We had a phase one trade deal that partially addressed some of the unfair trade practices and was a huge step in the right direction,” he said. ”But as soon as that was signed, we ended up with the president calls at the China plague or the COVID outbreak here, which made that, somewhat irrelevant because of the tremendous losses we suffered, again because the Chinese wouldn’t share the virus samples with us early, wouldn’t let CDC doctors come into China early to investigate, wouldn’t let WHO doctors come into China to investigate, wouldn’t restrict travel from China to overseas, especially to Europe when they were restricting travel within China,” he added. However, he asserted that the United States under Trump would prevail against China.

”He is the first president that stood up to the Chinese. I hope he’s not going to be the last president who stands up to the Chinese. And as difficult as the problem is, let me tell you, I’m confident in the United States of America. I believe at the end of the day, we are going to prevail. We’ve got a peace through strength foreign policy finally that we’ve been missing for some time now,” he said.

The United States is investing is defense and us taking strong action on the diplomatic front against the Chinese.

”We’re taking strong action on the trade front. We are protecting our intellectual property. We’re not going to–you know, we called out the communist Chinese party. We’re taking strong action and have massive sanctions on the Chinese for the first time because of the treatment of the Uighurs or their treatment of democrats in Hong Kong,” he asserted.

”I think at the end of the day, our allies are going to follow us, what you’ve seen happening with 5G and Huawei and we’re seeing many, many countries, including our closest allies turning away from the Chinese, turning away from Huawei and going with trusted providers on 5G. So I think at the end of the day, America is going to prevail. I think trump president Trump’s vision of free markets and free women and freed men is an attractive message not just to our allies but even to people within China,” O’Brien said.

”So you know, I’m confident in the future, but I’ll tell you, this is a challenge. It’s a heck of a challenge, but I’m convinced that under President Trump’s leadership, the American people are up to the challenge,” O’Brien said.

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