On 2020-07-23 U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo spoke at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library at Yorba Linda, California on “Communist China and the Free World’s Future” [transcript]. While he never used the exact words, the message was explicit. The era of “constructive engagement” with the Chinese Communist Party is at an end, and U.S. policy must be directed toward protecting its interests from an aggressive, tyrannical, and deceitful regime which is oppressing the Chinese people. Since communist dictatorships don’t “get better”, this essentially commits the U.S. to a policy of regime change in China.
Whatever the reason – whatever the reason, today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else.
And President Trump has said: enough.
I don’t think many people on either side of the aisle dispute the facts that I have laid out today. But even now, some are insisting that we preserve the model of dialogue for dialogue’s sake.
Now, to be clear, we’ll keep on talking. But the conversations are different these days. I traveled to Honolulu now just a few weeks back to meet with Yang Jiechi.
It was the same old story – plenty of words, but literally no offer to change any of the behaviors.
Yang’s promises, like so many the CCP made before him, were empty. His expectations, I surmise, were that I’d cave to their demands, because frankly this is what too many prior administrations have done. I didn’t, and President Trump will not either.
That the only way – the only way to truly change communist China is to act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave. And you can see American policy responding to this conclusion. President Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of “trust but verify.” When it comes to the CCP, I say we must distrust and verify.
We, the freedom-loving nations of the world, must induce China to change, just as President Nixon wanted. We must induce China to change in more creative and assertive ways, because Beijing’s actions threaten our people and our prosperity.
We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party. We have to tell the truth. We can’t treat this incarnation of China as a normal country, just like any other.
In not necessarily unrelated news, earlier today the price of gold in U.S. dollars hit an all time high of US$1944.72 per troy ounce, the highest price of gold against the dollar since the relationship between the two was established by the Coinage Act of 1792—everybody who ever exchanged their dollars for gold in the last 228 years has a profit today. Against other currencies, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) fell to a two-year low of 93.8, a drop of 9.8% from its high of 102.99 recorded on 2020-03-16 when it surged on safe haven buying after the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Bitcoin is currently up more than 4% on the day, at US$10,314/BTC.