An OP-ED from ABCU|8 – The American Broadcasting CommUnity
Secretary of State Pompeo Signals Historic Shift in U.S.-China Relations
It will be up to future historians to judge President Richard M. Nixon’s “opening” of China fifty years ago. America was optimistic over the potential that Maoist China might adopt aspects of capitalism. We believed that with more interaction, China would become more like our liberal democracy. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today, that course seemed inevitable – at the time.
The Vietnam war was still ongoing, and we college students wanted the war to end. Our male peers, after drawing a low number in the draft lottery, were sent overseas, their lives forever changed (or extinguished). So we were eager for the change that Nixon’s new Asia policy seemed to signal.
This philosophy has guided American presidents for many terms. They naively treated the country run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) like a normal nation, trusting it to apply the rule of law internally, and uphold its agreements internationally. However, a realistic assessment by the Trump administration found otherwise. Only the blind or willfully ignorant couldn’t see that the CCP’s primary goal has always been to rip off other countries through every means possible, to gain advantage for China, with an ultimate goal of Chinese hegemony. 
President Donald Trump began the relationship with CCP Chairman Xi Jinpeng cordially. While they dined at Mar-a-Lago, we learned (with trepidation) that Trump sent a cruise missile to bomb an empty warehouse in Syria over chocolate cake.  It signalled that America’s new president meant business and had command of his military. Months later, Mr. and Mrs. Trump visited Beijing, receiving an honor never before afforded to any other nation’s leader: a visit inside the ancient Imperial City, once the home of Chinese emperors, where no commoner was allowed to tread. Trump continued praising Xi effusively – saving Xi’s “face” in front of his people, while leaving a generous opening for improved Chinese behavior. This seemed an auspicious start.
In late 2019, the Trump administration negotiated for a fair and reciprocal trade relationship with China, signing the historic Phase One Trade Agreement on January 15, 2020.  That very day, America got its first case of COVID-19 – an undesired Chinese import.
Yet many suspected trouble all along. In a February 2020 speech to the National Governors’ Association, Mr. Pompeo publicly outlined some concerns.  The CCP had targeted governors, grading each as “friendly,” “hardline,” or “ambiguous” on their willingness to cooperate with CCP goals. Under Xi, he said, “China is moving exactly in the opposite direction – more repression, more unfair competition, more predatory economic practices; indeed, a more aggressive military posture as well… The Chinese Government has been methodical… It’s assessed our vulnerabilities, and it’s decided to exploit our freedoms to gain advantage over us.”
Current news abounds with Chinese students and scientists, employees of the CCP People’s Liberation Army, being charged with espionage, intellectual property theft, and other crimes.  through  The charges are new, but such crimes continue a long-established Chinese pattern of exploiting American openness.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper, at the Munich Security Conference, said, “The prevailing notion of the day was that, if we allowed the PRC [People’s Republic of China] into the WTO [World Trade Organization] and other multilateral institutions, China would continue on its path of economic reform and eventually become a market-oriented trading partner. More broadly, increased engagement with the liberal world order would also spur political opening and help transform the PRC into a responsible global stakeholder. The more skeptical voices argued that, if granted membership, China would use the benefits of free trade and an open international order to grow its economy and access the technology required to build a strong military and security state capable of expanding the reach of their authoritarian rule. These were both credible arguments, but we all know which one is winning right now. It’s not the former. In fact, under President Xi’s rule, the Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction – more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture.” [23, 24]
On July 16th, Attorney General William Barr, speaking to business leaders said, “The ultimate ambition of China’s rulers isn’t to trade with the United States. It is to raid the United States… If you’re an American business leader, appeasing the PRC may bring short term rewards, but in the end the PRC’s goal is to replace you.”  Yet many American companies kow-tow to CCP pressure.
It was the last straw when China abrogated all international norms by failing to notify other countries as soon as it learned of a “novel coronavirus” from Wuhan that has since swept the planet. The ensuing closures have wreaked unprecedented economic damage to America and our allies.
America’s new hard stance, bluntly confronting the CCP’s aggression and taking new measures to protect America from them, is a long-overdue reversal of past administrations’ failure to protect the American people from international predators.
1. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Speech at Richard Nixon Presidential Library, July 23, 2020. https://youtu.be/zhY2CH_PyLU
2. The Guardian, “Trump told Xi of Syria strikes over ‘beautiful piece of chocolate cake'”, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/12/trump-xi-jinping-chocolate-cake-syria-strikes
3. The White House, “President Donald J. Trump is Signing a Landmark Phase One Trade Agreement with China”, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-signing-landmark-phase-one-trade-agreement-china/
4. State Department, “U.S. States and the China Competition”, https://www.state.gov/u-s-states-and-the-china-competition/
5. U.S. Department of Justice, “Researchers Charged with Visa Fraud After Lying About Their Work for China’s People’s Liberation Army”, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/researchers-charged-visa-fraud-after-lying-about-their-work-china-s-people-s-liberation-army
6. The National Pulse, “Harvard Center Hypes Chinese Communist Party Popularity While Receiving MILLIONS From Chinese Govt and CCP-Linked Companies”, https://thenationalpulse.com/politics/harvard-chinese-funding/
7. Breitbart News, “U.S. Prosecutors: Fugitive Chinese Researcher Hiding in San Francisco Consulate”,
8. Business Insider, “People are burning documents at the Chinese Consulate in Houston, as Beijing says the US abruptly gave it 72 hours to shut it down”, https://www.businessinsider.com/china-houston-consulate-document-burning-us-told-quickly-close-2020-7
9. Fox News, “Rubio: Chinese consulate in Houston was ‘massive spy center'”, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rubio-chinese-consulate-in-houston-was-massive-spy-center
10. Wired, “Chinese Hackers Charged in Decade-Long Crime and Spying Spree”, https://www.wired.com/story/chinese-hackers-charged-decade-long-crime-spying-spree/
11. Center for Security Policy, “Harvard professor’s arrest shows Chinese spying via US universities”, https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2020/01/30/harvard-china-spy/
12. Fox News, “Arkansas professor allegedly hid China ties to secure NASA grant money”, https://www.foxnews.com/us/arkansas-professor-allegedly-hid-china-ties-to-secure-nasa-grant-money
13. Campus Reform, “Ohio professor the latest to be arrested over China ties”, https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=14873
14. Newsweek, “UCLA Professor Stole Missile Secrets for China, Faces 219 Years in Prison”, https://www.newsweek.com/ucla-professor-stole-missile-secrets-china-219-years-prison-espionage-1447286
15. Tennessee Star, “UT Knoxville Professor Arrested, Charged for Double-Dealing with Chinese Government and NASA”, https://tennesseestar.com/2020/03/02/ut-knoxville-professor-arrested-charged-for-double-dealing-with-chinese-government-and-nasa/
16. USA Today, “Chinese professors among 6 charged with economic espionage”, https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/19/china-espionage-technology/27570735/
17. “Chinese professor in US convicted of stealing tech secrets, economic espionage”, https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3090827/chinese-professor-us-convicted-stealing-tech
18. CNN, “US intelligence warns China is using student spies to steal secrets”, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/01/politics/us-intelligence-chinese-student-espionage/index.html
19. Washington Times, “Spy school: Chinese military officer busted for posing as Boston University student”, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/1/spy-school-chinese-military-officer-busted-posing-/
20. Washington Times, “China using students as spies”, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/25/china-uses-students-as-spies/
21. Voice of America, “Chinese College Students Being Forced to Spy on US”, https://www.voanews.com/student-union/chinese-college-students-being-forced-spy-us
22. NBC News, “Education or espionage? A Chinese student takes his homework home to China”, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/china/education-or-espionage-chinese-student-takes-his-homework-home-china-n893881
23. Remarks by Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Speeches/Speech/Article/2085577/remarks-by-secretary-of-defense-mark-t-esper-at-the-munich-security-conference/source/GovDelivery/
24. NY Post, “China’s new ‘social credit system’ is a dystopian nightmare”, https://nypost.com/2019/05/18/chinas-new-social-credit-system-turns-orwells-1984-into-reality/
25. Yahoo Finance, “‘China’s goal is to replace you’: Barr warns leaders of America’s biggest businesses”, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinas-goal-is-to-replace-you-barr-warns-leaders-of-america-biggest-businesses-202355046.html