In-Depth

Beijing Targets American Business-2

The Wall Street Journal

Matt Pottinger | former Deputy National Security Advisor
Beijing Targets American Business-2
Beijing Targets American Business-2
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Beijing Targets American Business

2

Part 2 | 'The ideological dimension of the competition is inescapable, even central.' Matt Pottinger

March 26, 2021
BIG IDEA | 'American businessmen, wishing for simple, lucrative commercial ties, have long resisted viewing U.S.-China relations as an ideological struggle. But strategic guidance issued by the leaders of both countries make clear the matter is settled: The ideological dimension of the competition is inescapable, even central.'

'Another notable element of Beijing’s approach is its explicit goal of making the world permanently dependent on China, and exploiting that dependency for political ends.'

  • 'Xi has issued guidance, institutionalized this month by his rubber-stamp parliament, that he’s pursuing a grand strategy of making China independent of high-end imports from industrialized nations while making those nations heavily reliant on China for high-tech supplies and as a market for raw materials.'
  • 'In other words, decoupling is precisely Beijing’s strategy—so long as it’s on Beijing’s terms.'

'Even more remarkable, the Communist Party is no longer hiding its reasons for pursuing such a strategy.'

  • 'In a speech Mr. Xi delivered early last year, published only in late October in the party’s leading theoretical journal, Qiu Shi, he said China “must tighten international production chains’ dependence on China” with the aim of “forming powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities.” '

'This phrase—“powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities”—is party jargon for offensive leverage.'

  • 'Beijing’s grand strategy is to accumulate and exert economic leverage to achieve its political objectives around the world.'

'American businessmen, wishing for simple, lucrative commercial ties, have long resisted viewing U.S.-China relations as an ideological struggle.'

  • 'But strategic guidance issued by the leaders of both countries make clear the matter is settled: The ideological dimension of the competition is inescapable, even central.'
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