To be blocked, China must be denied access to intellectual property involving technology from corporate, governmental, or educational entities and be excluded from any degree of dominion over our media and our communications infrastructure. Tariffs need to be extended substantially if the PRC does not make all virus data and sites available to our scientists, so that we may understand fully the genesis and the spread of the present pandemic. The PRC must be made to release any COVID-19 whistleblowers and to eliminate all its wet markets, which, if left undisturbed, may incubate the next biological crisis.
An important step in confronting Chinese soft power is to limit its influence in the United Nations and its fifteen specialized agencies. President Trump’s exit from the World Health Organization (WHO) is a necessary first step to stem this pillage.
In support of basic human rights, our government should contemplate holding a multinational symposium on the future of Tibet. Consideration should be given to the publication by the Department of State of a new counterpoint to Tibet Transformed, for this book, now decades old, was a centerpiece of Chinese propaganda that glorified falsely the advancement of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. Thereafter, President Trump should meet with the Dalai Lama.
We are morally obligated to redouble our support for religious or other persecuted groups within China such as the Uyghurs and members of the Falun Gong. This should entail a broad interfaith dialog, which would also include Chinese and American Christian leaders, joined by Muslim clerics, Tibetan Buddhists, members of the Falun Gong, and other oppressed groups. Together, plans to avert religious or group persecution within China must be drawn and implemented.
- Confront the PRC as to its abrogation of its treaty concerning Hong Kong; stand for freedom.
- Deny the PRC’s attempts to intimidate or to coerce the independent nations of Central Asia.
- Explicate the errancies contained in “Xi Jinping Thought.”
- Explain Xi Jinping’s malfeasance, as manifested during the present crisis.
- Enact steep tariffs if China does not allow the collection of important data concerning COVID-19; push China to release all COVID-19 whistleblowers and to close all wet markets.
- Expose the lies China has promulgated concerning its occupation of Tibet.
- Support religious liberty in China through an array of means; provide sustenance to oppressed groups, including the Falun Gong.
Retention of America’s supremacy in the creation and in the application of soft power is fundamental, for hard power alone, given the world’s interconnections and interdependence, is insufficient to channel future courses of events that govern outcomes. China is on the verge, however, of becoming a peer competitor in its use of soft power and in its introduction of sharp power. This must not mean American stultification, but the burnishment of American advocacy and influence by vesting our power within the connectivity and informational domains that we dominate. Such influence may only be retained if a floor of allied containment of China is realized.
The creation of a new, decentralized World Wide Web must be pursued with vigor. Censorship on major web platforms threatens to limit personal freedom and expression. This very much supports the Communist Party of China’s aims.
Brewster Kahle, computer engineer and founder of the Internet Archive, has joined Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, in calling for the creation of a decentralized web, more resistant to government or corporate control. The creation of this new web architecture would constitute a great advancement for freedom movements across the globe. Indeed, Mr. Kahle has stated, “China can make it impossible for people there to read things, and just a few big service providers are the de facto organizers of your experience. We have the ability to change all that.”
It may be argued that during the present pandemic, China’s most abhorrent exports have been fear and disinformation. Yet these disgorgements were advanced by much of America’s legacy media. Twice before this crisis, and in the living memory of many Americans, our nation has experienced pandemics.
According to the CDC’s website, during the 1957 Asian Flu, “The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States.” The U.S. population in 1957 was 172 million; thus, adjusted for our present population, the Asian Flu would have killed 222,000 Americans. This pandemic did not change the economic life of America. While there was a recession from August 1957 to April 1958, the Asian Flu is not considered to be a primary causal factor. Of the 1968 Hong Kong Flu, the CDC has written, “The estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the United States.” America’s population in 1968 was 201 million; adjusting for today, the Hong Kong Flu would have killed 164,000 Americans. A mild recession occurred from December 1969 through November 1970; neither it nor the pandemic affected America’s economic condition.
While it may be contended that the present pandemic had the potential to be much worse than the two that preceded it, the present dread, stoked by a foreign power and by an echoic press, has certainly ruptured America’s economy in ways inconceivable before this event. To cower, however, in the face of this pandemic and to not make the hard choices necessary to ensure American primacy is to be unfair to future generations.
How our country has thus far answered this pandemic is not repeatable: our present array of actions cannot be mounted if another wave or pandemic strikes. This is our gravest sin: we have shown China, Russia, and Iran, as well as terrorist actors, that our nation may be disempowered if faced with a new pathogen. In so doing, we have done what no competent general would ever do, we have exposed our flank.
We must not afford the leadership of China the luxury of knowing what America will or will not do in response to this crisis. Our nation must explore a variety of tools and pressure points to counteract the Communist Party of China’s intentions. As was done with the Soviet Union, we can no longer ignore the plight of captive nations held by China. To prosper, we must reclaim America’s foundations and principles. We must reject utterly the adoption of a worldview that enshrines an all-powerful state serviced by great monopolies, for to accept this would be to grant China victory in a great, undeclared war.
- Create a new, decentralized web, supportive of cybersecurity, which will be able to penetrate the PRC’s firewalls, to reach its citizenry.
- Place the present pandemic in the context of past plagues that our nation has overcome.
- Promote deterrence by exacting a high price for the PRC’s unacceptable acts.
- Answer the call of captive nations and peoples within China’s empire.
Vastly complicating the monumental tasks proposed herein is internal dissention within the United States unmatched since the Civil War. A national strategy must be enduring to be meaningful; it cannot be based on party rhetoric, but must be rooted in an examination of our nation’s founding principles. It must survive changes in administrations until it is succeeded by a new national strategy, more relevant to some future time.
In 1943, Congressman Andrew May stated publicly that the Japanese Navy was setting its depth charges too shallowly. After the war, Admiral Charles Lockwood wrote that this admission prompted the Japanese to reconfigure their weapons: “ten submarines and 800 officers and men" were lost as a result. Of equal gravity today are statements by political leaders that undermine the nation’s power in a time of crisis. Only by returning to the principles of bipartisanship and the precept that “politics stops at the water’s edge” may America be vested with its full abilities and its palisade of defense.
At the commissioning of the USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730) in 1984, the bipartisan nature of Senator Jackson’s extraordinary career was extolled, for it was marked by important agreements with members of both parties. Such independence of thought is almost impossible to imagine today, but it is mandatory in the formulation, enactment, and entrenchment of a new national strategy, which may carry our nation forward.
Misconceptions by the press and by the public concerning the adversary we face are of equal concern. Any overarching strategy is doomed to failure if it is not supported by the public. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fireside chats and Ronald Reagan’s Oval Office addresses achieved the inclusion of the American public in crucial policy deliberations involving security. This president must use his own means to promote needed public dialog on the issues presented herein. President Trump must articulate that the focus of the administration’s policies and actions is directed at the Communist Party of China and not the Chinese people, who are the object of internal suppression.
The prime difference between the United States and the People’s Republic of China must be explained clearly. Communists believe their citizens are part of a collective that exists to serve the state: this constitutes a hive mind. Free people are individuals. Evolution has created us as such, and America’s Judeo-Christian heritage confirms that God’s relationship is with each person.