That is especially true of China, which the Pentagon has long identified as the United States’ strongest emerging ‘competitor’ for the foreseeable future.
Trump’s trade policies alone regarding China are unprecedented in modern presidential history. Between his tariffs, which were working, and his demand that America and China trade on an even keel, his handling of foreign affairs is revolutionary in terms of diplomacy.
What’s more, the president’s unwavering support for Taiwan, regardless of Chinese ‘opposition,’ is the stuff of greatness.
Now, after China’s culpability in creating and then spreading the coronavirus, the Trump administration is cracking down even more on the Communists in Beijing, as The Wall Street Journal reports:
The U.S. ordered the abrupt closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, accusing China of extensive interference in domestic affairs and intellectual-property theft, an escalation of bilateral tensions that Beijing called outrageous and unprecedented.
The State Department, in a statement on the closure, accused China of conducting “massive illegal spying and influence operations throughout the United States against U.S. government officials and American citizens,” and said such activities have increased in recent years.
The order to close, which China first made public, came as the U.S. announced the indictments of a pair of hackers on the mainland, accusing them of targeting U.S. companies that are involved in coronavirus research (because the Chinese are only capable of starting pandemics, not ending them).
In addition, the State Department has accused Beijing of raiding companies all over the world of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of sensitive information (because, again, Chinese researchers can’t create much of value on their own).
After the order to close, Chinese officials were seen burning documents in a courtyard, leading to calls for the Houston Fire Department to respond.
The WSJ noted, “Washington’s demand opened a new front in President Trump’s efforts to pressure China in a duel between the world’s two-largest economies over trade, technological and military competition, geopolitical influence and the coronavirus pandemic.” (Related: U.S. has been quietly building up military resources and firepower on a remote Pacific outpost in unmistakable signal to China.)
In comments, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump administration officials and diplomats had clearly warned China on various occasions that the president would not continue ‘business as usual’ policies in the face of continuous theft of intellectual and other data from American firms.
“President Trump has said, ‘Enough, we’re not going to allow this to continue to happen,’” Pompeo said while in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The new closure order and indictments come after the administration had already imposed visa restrictions, curbs, and other sanctions on Chinese officials and other entities in recent weeks. The White House is also considering banning Chinese Communist leaders and their families from entering the U.S., which, if implemented, would affect hundreds of millions of Chinese.
Needless to say, the Chinese government was upset.
“This is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the U.S.,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Wednesday, the WSJ reported. “China urges the U.S. to immediately rescind its erroneous decision, otherwise China will undertake legitimate and necessary responses.”
As for why the Houston consulate was chosen, the Trump administration did not say.
“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs and other egregious behavior,” Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said, using the acronym for People’s Republic of China, which is a farce.
President Trump has been tougher on Beijing than any president since the U.S. and China resumed diplomatic relations 40 years ago. And frankly, it’s about time.