Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz said Thursday there are "pro-China forces" working against President Donald Trump's opposition to China's unfair trade practices.
"What's happening related to the trade talks is that the pro-China forces are trying to oppose President Trump's new, tougher, harder line on China," Gertz said.
Gertz's comments came during an appearance on Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs Tonight to discuss his new book, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy.
He said those pro-China actors are trying to bring more U.S. businesses into China, which Trump has opposed.
"They're coming up with a whole bunch of new ideas. One of the new ideas that is being floated is to allow U.S. businesses to enter the Chinese financial market. This is a non-starter," Gertz said. "So far, the president is hanging tough against this, he wants a comprehensive deal that deals with all of the threats, from cyber to currency manipulation to fentanyl exports into the United States."
Gertz's central case is that U.S. policy toward China has been mistakenly optimistic for the last 40 years, and now is the time for major change.
"Basically, we're in the middle of a 40-year gamble by our policy and intelligence experts who told us that if we just trade with China, if we are just nice to China that it would morph to a nonthreatening, benign power," Gertz said. "Nothing could've been further from the truth. We're now facing a major threat. China is on the move, they're using the Belt and Road Initiative, a major infrastructure plan, as a Trojan horse to expand their economic and military influence around the world."
Gertz added that he does not believe the United States and China are poised to reach a trade deal because American terms would require the Chinese to admit wrongdoing.
"I talked to some administration officials recently, and we had a deal back in May, 150 pages, and I'm told that the senior Communist leaders in Beijing understood that if they signed it, they would be admitting to all of these nefarious activities: the cyber attacks, the intellectual property theft, and even the fentanyl. So, they backed off," Gertz said.