Robert O’Brien, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, along with FBI Director Christopher Wray, both emphasized the threats posed by China in recent days, The Epoch Times reported, noting that under the current White House, ‘passivity’ will not be the order of the times.
O’Brien, in a speech delivered to a group of Arizona business leaders, said the United States will no longer be passive in dealing with China, adding that his remarks would be the first of many such speeches challenging China in the coming weeks.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr, as well as other senior administration officials, are also expected to deliver speeches on this front, he said.
“The days of American passivity and naivety regarding the People’s Republic of China are over,” O’Brien said in Phoenix. “America, under President Trump’s leadership, has finally awoken to the threat of the Chinese Communist Party’s actions and the threat they pose to our great way of life.”
He noted that in 2001, the U.S. welcomed Beijing into the World Trade Organization after making “vast concessions and trade privileges” and ignoring the communist dictatorship’s long history of “gross human rights abuses” and turning “a blind eye to China’s widespread technology theft that eviscerated entire sectors of the American economy.”
“As China grew richer and stronger, we believed that the Chinese Communist Party would liberalize to meet the rising democratic aspirations of its people,” O’Brien said. “This was a bold, quintessentially American idea. It was born of our innate optimism and by the experience of our triumph over Soviet communism. Unfortunately, it also turned out to be very naive.”
Emphasizing that he was not attacking ordinary Chinese but rather the Communist Party government, O’Brien ticked off a list of activities Beijing has engaged in to suppress its own citizens while trying to influence Americans to view China favorably.
For his part, Wray accused China of attempting to meddle in U.S. politics and elections and of spying on Fortune 100 firms, the top corporations in the country as ranked by employees.
“There’s no country that presents a broader, more comprehensive threat to America’s innovation, to our economic security, and to our democratic ideas than China does,” he said.
Under President Trump, the U.S. has taken an increasingly aggressive stance, both in the Pacific and in the realm of trade. (Related: Goodbye, Obama, you “sleeper cell” traitor and enemy of America… (you won’t be missed.)
The Pentagon has not only shifted more offensive assets into the South Pacific, but the administration and the Defense Department both have been working to shore up and expand relations and cooperation with regional allies, most of whom see China’s rise as a threat as well.
Trade-wise, President Trump — with tariffs and economic policy — has managed to force the Chinese at least to the negotiating table, which has led to some concessions — not nearly enough but far more than any past president since Richard Nixon dramatically expanded relations with China in the early 1970s.
Trump has also imposed restrictions on U.S. companies doing business with Chinese firms over concerns about espionage.
For his part, Wray said his bureau is “opening a new counterintelligence investigation that ties back to China every 10 hours.”
China expert Gordon Chang said that under Trump, the U.S. is finally “becoming more realistic about China.”
“They are starting to understand the fundamental challenge that Beijing poses to American society,” he told the Times.