This column first appeared on Fox News Opinion — editor.
Over the past several decades, American foreign policy towards China has been primarily economic in nature. In 1979, we granted Most Favored Nation trading status with China, and in 2001, China became a member of the World Trade Organization. For years, the theory has been that China will reform government dominance and communist tendencies with increased access to global markets. Our leaders have believed that open market access would permeate the Chinese culture with greater personal freedoms and liberties.
Unfortunately, the outcome of continuous and unrestricted market access has not yielded the intended results. China remains a significant human rights abuser, censoring everything from news and journalism to religious freedom, women’s rights, and political dissidence.
Furthermore, China has used the economic benefits of global market access to blatantly undermine international adversaries through cyberespionage, corporate IP theft, market manipulation, illegal naval expansion, and the significant development of domestic military capabilities.
When I hosted Dr. Henry Kissinger for a speech in Charlotte in 1991, he contrasted Russia and China, with Russia being an outward expansionist regime and China being still relatively unengaged in the world. Today, however, through the favor of economic expansion granted in large part by the United States, China has aggressive visions to expand its global footprint across multiple continents. Through economic expansion, China has emerged from its reclusive traditions to become a major economic and military…
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