Challenges And Opportunities Facing The Trump Administration’s China Policy

Strategika
Image credit: Poster Collection, CC 112, Hoover Institution Archives

by Miles Maochun Yu
Strategika

In general, America profoundly lacks interest in communist ideology, a phenomenon Karl Marx would have called “the poverty of ideology.” As a result, our China policy by and large has failed to take into sufficient consideration the primal forces that motivate Chinese communist leadership in foreign and domestic affairs.

This lack of understanding of China through a communist ideological prism has also led us to believe that China operates more or less the same way the U.S. does. Therefore, if we bring China into rules-based international communities such as the World Trade Organization, we expect it to follow the rules of international trade regulations, just like the United States. Or, if we open up our markets to the Chinese, they will do the same in response. Related to this American belief is the prevailing idea that human progress and political freedom can be achieved through economic prosperity and that if we help China become economically vibrant, then democracy and human rights will eventually arrive in China—it’s just a matter of time.

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