Attorney General William Barr delivered a blistering speech today at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in what seems to be a deliberate ratcheting-up of the Trump Administration’s increasingly aggressive policy towards the Chinese Communist Party.
It’s about time.
It was very interesting to listen as AG Barr was very careful to be respectful to what he called the “ancient civilization that is the Chinese people” which pouring invective on the “Chinese Communist Party” over and over again. Early on his raised the question “Will the United States and its liberal democratic allies continue to shape their own destiny, and if not the Chinese Communist Party and its autocratic tributaries will control the future.”
He called upon US citizens and the business community to “re-evaluate their relationships with China so long as it continues to be ruled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made increasingly hostile comments towards Bejing and the Communists in recent speeches as well, and was quite blunt in his comments following a recent meeting with Chinese diplomatic official in Hawaii. Yesterday the State Department announced that the United States had revoked Hong Kong’s “special trade status” by which some Chinese companies had been able to avoid increasing US sanctions on trade between the countries. Now all Hong Kong based companies will have the same trade status, along with the same sanctions and trade restrictions, as are imposed on Chinese companies.
Some of this is a bit of “good cop” “bad cop” by Barr/Pompeo on the one hand, and President Trump on the other hand who sometimes can sound a bit “bipolar” in his public statements about China.
But even though he is often complimentary about Chinese Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping on a personal level, he is not afraid to make overt economic threats in the direction of the Chinese as well, and has publicly blamed them for the outbreak of the COVID-19 infection around the world.
But the combined comments of AG Barr and SOS Pompeo suggest strongly that US policy toward China — aimed at the Chinese Communist Party — will become more pointed in the weeks and months ahead, while it is becoming more and more obvious that a central theme of the 2020 campaign will be to link Joe Biden to the Chinese regime based on conduct in officer during his eight years as Vice President.
AG Barr’s speech is worth the time to listen.