Thursday’s breaking news regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to pull approvals for dozens of mask makers in China proves the point: China must now be seen as an adversary.
For half a century, the American establishment has seen China as a partner on the international stage. Some Americans looked at China and saw only the size of its potential market for American goods; others looked at China and saw it as a strategic linchpin in the Cold War against the Soviet Union; still others saw a vast manufacturing plant with a low-paid workforce that could be used to produce “American” goods inexpensively.
Presidents and administrations both Democratic and Republican saw China as a partner, and worked regularly to deepen the ties that bound the two countries, even as a relatively small number of us voiced concerns over what we saw as the clear national security threat posed by the relationship. . .
The Chinese Communist Party’s behavior in the coronavirus crisis has made clear that China is no “partner” to the United States. China, clearly, is an adversary— and, going forward, the United States must treat it as such, across the entire spectrum of policy.
For now, though, let’s just focus on one aspect of the relationship — the threat posed by China’s virtual chokehold on American medical supplies. Once we opened up free trade with China in the early 2000s, we began shifting production from the United States to China. Our last aspirin manufacturing facility closed down in 2002, as did our last vitamin C plant. Our last penicillin plant closed in 2004. Chinese manufacturers, subsidized by their government, picked up the slack. (Read more from “China Is Now a Dangerous Adversary of the United States” HERE)