To Confront China, Let Trump be Reagan

◎ The most effective and underutilized weapon in the West’s arsenal is the truth.

By Joseph Bosco

Donald Trump does not see China as an enemy, according to an outside consultant who advises the president on how to think about China and prides himself on having “restrained” him from taking several actions that would displease Beijing.

The “China-is-not-an-enemy” refrain mirrors an urgent public plea to Trump from more than 100 China observers who consider this administration’s more confrontational approach as misguided and dangerous. This latest rhetorical assurance should provide some cheer.

Their open letter triggered a response from at least as many national security practitioners who contend that wrong-headed and naive China policies of previous administrations created the perilous situation the West now confronts. (I joined in signing that letter.)

First published in The Hill.

Joseph Bosco served as China country director for the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Asia-Pacific director of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from 2009 to 2010. He is a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and the Institute for Taiwan-American Studies, and has held nonresident appointments in the Asia-Pacific program at the Atlantic Council and the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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