What’s China really after? From Dennis Etler at antiwar.com:
The influential Council on Foreign Relations has released a remarkable special report by longtime diplomat Robert Blackwill entitled “Trump’s Foreign Policies are Better Than They Seem.” The report singles out Trump for praise because he identified China as a threat to the United States in economic, military, and cultural terms and criticized previous presidents for suggesting there was a need for strategic cooperation with China. The implication of the report is that the Obama and Bush administrations betrayed national interests by not taking a hard line on China.
The Council on Foreign Relations has a preeminent position in U.S. foreign policy, and this special report captures the Washington consensus on China at this moment. Politicians across the spectrum, from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are increasingly speaking of China as a serious threat to American security and competitiveness.
Yet, in its effort to justify Trump’s more extreme actions against China, the report makes a series of deeply misleading assertions. For example, the report states:
While these presidents were making such optimistic statements over a nearly twenty-year period, China implemented a grand strategy under Xi Jinping; used geoeconomic tools to coerce its neighbors and others, including most recently though the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); violated international commercial practices, including by committing massive theft of US intellectual property; manipulated its currency for trade benefits; threatened Taiwan; build up its military forces to push the United States beyond Japan and the Philippines; constructed and militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea, in violation of the international law. . . and patiently and incrementally built its power and influence with the strategic goal of challenging the United States as the primary power in Asia.