Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in the WEF Virtual Event of the World Economic Forum of the Davos Agenda and will give a special address via video link on January 25, 2021 in Beijing, the capital of China.
Li Xueren | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
An anonymous author, himself described as a former senior government official with deep expertise and experience in China, published an exceptional paper Atlantic Council strategy paper in this week.
Its aim is to shape the strategy of the Biden government towards Beijing – with President Xi Jinping as the main focus.
What makes the paper worth reading, all 26,000 words, are the author’s insights into China’s internal workings and party rifts, the author’s solutions to the current lack of a coherent US national strategy towards Beijing, and the paper’s controversial demand for the Biden government to draw They “red lines” which “lead to direct US intervention if deterrence fails”.
“The list of red lines in the United States should be short, focused, and enforceable,” the author writes, undermining “China’s tactics for many years … to blur the red lines that otherwise became too early to face open confrontation with.” the United States. ” Beijing’s favor. “
- Any nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons action by China against the United States or its allies or North Korea in which China has not taken decisive action to prevent such North Korean action.
- Any Chinese military attack on Taiwan or its offshore islands, including an economic blockade or a major cyber attack on Taiwan’s public infrastructure and institutions.
- Any Chinese attack on Japanese forces in defense of Japanese sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands and the surrounding exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea.
- Any major hostile action by China in the South China Sea to further retake and militarize islands, use force against other claimants, or prevent full freedom of navigation by the United States and Allied naval forces.
- Any Chinse attack on the territory or military assets of allies of the US treaty.
The red line call is already fueling debate among China experts around the world, despite the fact that the paper wasn’t released until Thursday. The dispute affects those who believe that setting clearer borders would reduce Chinese aggression, and those who believe that setting such red lines is a call for U.S. humiliation in case it is not enforced or undesirable Conflict when enforced.
What has led to an even bigger debate, however, is the paper’s unique focus on China’s leaders and behavior, which since its rise to power in 2013 has made the country more externally assertive and internally repressive, most recently tightening restrictions on private companies and has strengthened the role of state enterprises.
“The main challenge facing the United States in the 21st century is the rise of an increasingly authoritarian China under President and Secretary-General Xi Jinping,” the anonymous author writes. “US policy strategy must continue to focus on Xi, his inner circle, and the China political context in which they govern. Changing their decision-making requires understanding, acting, and changing their political and strategic paradigm. All US policy aims at this changing China’s behavior should revolve around that fact, or it will likely prove ineffective. ”
It may seem like a simple exercise in logic that as time goes on, as a country becomes more authoritarian and power is increasingly invested in a person, any strategy for managing that country must begin at the top. Experts have been approaching Putin’s Russia through this lens for some time.
However, the first debate this week after The Longer Telegram was released ranged from one former senior US official who applauded the paper for its clear and straightforward focus on Xi, to another who feared such a US would – Approach would be considered as a confirmation of regime change that could only exacerbate tensions.
The author hopes his paper will be a major step “toward a new American China strategy,” which contains ten key elements, ranging from eliminating domestic economic and institutional weaknesses to fully coordinating with key allies for all Important action can be taken in response to China being taken in unity.
The author argues that any US strategy should be based on “the four pillars of American power”: the power of its military, the role of the dollar as a global reserve currency and pillar of the international financial system, continuation of global technology leadership, and the values of individual freedom , Fairness and the rule of law “despite recent political divisions and difficulties”.
It was the author’s immodest decision to name this extraordinary work “The Longer Telegram”, ” bold with George Kennan’s famous “Long telegram“of February 1946, originally sent as a cable labeled” Secret “from his position as Deputy Head of Mission at the US Embassy in Moscow to the State Department.
This “long telegram” found its place in history as it was released of the journal Foreign Affairs in July 1947 under the pseudonym “X” Historians pay tribute to Kennan for advancing the containment policy towards the Soviet Union, which was ultimately successful, “anchored in the analytical conclusion that the USSR would ultimately collapse under the weight of its own contradictions “writes the anonymous author now.
Kennan was guided by a knowledge of how the Soviet Union worked internally, and the author argues that US strategy must once again be based on a better understanding of what is inside China. What is different now, the author argues, is that the Chinese system “is much more adept at surviving” after learning from the collapse of the Soviets.
He rejects the Trump administration’s approach of attacking the Chinese Communist Party as a whole without mentioning the former US president. He argues that this would be “strategically self-destructive” and would only serve to enable President Xi to unite a CCP that is “severely divided over Xi’s leadership and great ambitions.”
What would success look like?
The author clearly replies: “Until the middle of the century, the United States and its key allies will continue to dominate the regional and global balance of power across all major power indices. China has been prevented from taking Taiwan militarily. It was Xi.” replaced by a more moderate party leadership, and that the Chinese people themselves have challenged and challenged the Communist Party’s centuries-old claim that China’s ancient civilization is forever destined for an authoritarian future. “
It’s hard to argue with these goals. and even more difficult to achieve.
Frederick Kempe is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the United States’ most influential think tanks on global affairs. He worked for the Wall Street Journal for more than 25 years as a foreign correspondent, assistant editor-in-chief and senior editor for the European edition of the newspaper. His latest book – “Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place in the World” – was a New York Times bestseller and was published in more than a dozen languages. Follow him on Twitter @FredKempe and ssubscribe here to Inflection Points, his look at the top stories and trends of the past week every Saturday.
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