U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Hudson Institute in New York on Oct. 30.
/ November 7, 2019
By Richard Fisher
While fighting for its political existence against the Democrat Party led campaign for impeachment in the United States House of Representatives, the administration of President Donald Trump remains capable of strong leadership, such as working to forge a new American policy consensus on China.
In a remarkable Oct. 30 speech in New York City for the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a fundamental contribution toward that new policy consensus: He began by making a strong but necessary critique of the old consensus.
He made this critique in front of two of its most famous defenders.
Pompeo noted, “It’s remarkable I’m sitting at the table with Dr. [Henry] Kissinger and [businessman] Hank Greenberg,” as the former helped create the old consensus and the later profited from and defended that consensus.
Pompeo started his critique saying, “…Frankly, we’ve been slow to see the risk of China – the risk that it poses to American national security, because we wanted friendship with the People’s Republic from the very start. And because we, as Americans, always continue to hope for that.
“… But frankly, in our efforts to achieve this goal, we accommodated and encouraged China’s rise for decades,… even when that rise was at the expense of American values, Western democracy, and security, and good common sense.”
Indeed, China accepted American and Western investments, sent millions of students to Western Universities to gain vast technical knowledge, and even benefited from U.S. protection from the former Soviet Union, all to create the most formidable political-economic military challenge to U.S.-led pro-democratic post-World War II order.
Pompeo further explained how the United States compromised its interests, saying, " ... We all too often shied away from talking directly about the human rights issues there and American values when they came into conflict, and we downplayed ideological differences, even after the Tiananmen Square massacre and other significant human rights abuses.
" ... we encouraged China’s membership in the World Trade Organization and other international organizations, premised on their commitment to adopt market reforms and abide by the rules of those organizations. And all too often, China never followed through.
" ... We hesitated and did far less than we should have when China threatened its neighbors like Vietnam, and like the Philippines, and when they claimed the entire South China Sea.”
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