White House Book Outlines Major US Policy Shift Toward China

Donald J. Trump.

President Donald J. Trump talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, prior to boarding Marine One. (Image: Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

The White House has compiled a collection of speeches made by President Donald Trump and officials from his administration — such as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — on the task of protecting America from threats posed by China and the Chinese Communist Party.  

Released in early November, the document, entitled Trump on China: Putting America First, is described as a collection of speeches laying out, what it said was, the most important United States foreign policy shift in a generation.  

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“For decades, Donald J. Trump was one of the few prominent Americans to recognize the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] and its threat to America’s economic and political way of life,” said Robert C. O’Brien, the assistant to the president for National Security Affairs in the introduction.

 “We are no longer turning a blind eye to the People’s Republic of China’s conduct nor are we hiding our criticism of its Communist Party behind closed doors,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien pointed out that, until the Trump administration, senior U.S. officials had never spoken publicly with such candor and consistency about challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to America.

“Earlier this year, President Trump asked four of his most senior national security officials, [himself], Christopher Wray, William Barr, and Michael Pompeo, to explain current U.S. policy on China to the American people,” he said.

President Donald J. Trump with White House National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien, on Sept. 18, 2019, prior to boarding Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport. (Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

China has chosen economic aggression rather than liberalization

The book’s first speech is one given by Vice President Pence at The Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. on October 4, 2018, which outlined the threat that the CCP posed to America.

“America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into a greater partnership with us and with the world. Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military,” Vice President Pence said in his speech.

“Nor, as we had hoped, has Beijing moved toward greater freedom for its own people,” he said.

Among other speeches included in the book was that made by Secretary of State Pompeo who has, in his time in the position, been highly visible in opposing CCP actions including the regime’s ‘war on faith’ in China.

“For too many decades, our leaders have ignored, downplayed the words of brave Chinese dissidents who warned us about the nature of the regime we’re facing,” Secretary of State Pompeo said at a function in California, on July 23, 2020.

“And we can’t ignore it any longer. They know as well as anyone that we can never go back to the status quo. But changing the CCP’s behavior cannot be the mission of the Chinese people alone,” Pompeo said.  

“Free nations have to work to defend freedom. It’s the furthest thing from easy. But I have faith we can do it. I have faith because we’ve done it before,” he said.

“We know how this goes. I have faith because the CCP is repeating some of the same mistakes that the Soviet Union made — alienating potential allies, breaking trust at home and abroad, rejecting property rights and predictable rule of law.”

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, in Yorba Linda, California, July 23, 2020.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, in Yorba Linda, California, July 23, 2020. (Image: Ron Przysucha/U.S. State Department/Public Domain)

The final speech in the book is that made by President Trump from his call to action made at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly where, among other issues, he called on the PRC to be held accountable for the spread of the new coronavirus.

“In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world,” President Trump said. “China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes,” he said.

“The Chinese government and the World Health Organization — which is virtually controlled by China — falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease,” the president said.

“The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions,” he added.

O’Brien in his introduction pointed out that President Trump’s speech further pointed out that beyond the pandemic, China’s environmental devastation in the Pacific and illegal over-fishing in every ocean are but two examples of how the PRC treats the rest of the world.

An undated photo of para-military police in China.
An undated photo of para-military police in China. (Image: via Pixabay)

In one of his speeches included in the book, O’Brien spoke about how the Chinese Communist Party does not equal China or its people.

“We are the strongest nation on earth, and we will not bend to the Chinese Communist Party,” O’Brien said in remarks made at a function in Phoenix, Arizona June 24, 2020.

“As the foregoing actions demonstrate, the Trump administration is countering Chinese Communist Party’s malign activity,” he said. “The Trump Administration will speak out and reveal what the Chinese Communist Party believes, and what it is planning — not just for China and Hong Kong and Taiwan, but for the world.”

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