The United States must recognize China as a "real enemy" in its dealings with the country, Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz told The Epoch Times.
The U.S. took a "30-year gamble" in the hopes that trading with China would neutralize the communist state, an assumption that has been an"utter disaster," according to Gertz. The economic benefits the regime has reaped through growing financial ties to American industries have only emboldened communist party leaders.
"We had this idea that if we engage with China, and by engage, I mean do business with them, and if we moderate our policies and we don't criticize China and if we're nice to the communist regime in Beijing, that this would create a benign non-communist power," Gertz said while discussing his new book, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy.
The United States has made many mistakes with China, Gertz said. He said President Bill Clinton's decision to institute a nuclear cooperation program with China was one of the most serious.
"Within a very few short years of that program, the CIA concluded in a public assessment that secrets related to every deployed nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal was stolen by China through espionage," Gertz said, adding that China then sold these secrets to Pakistan, which in turn shared them with North Korea, Iran, and Libya.
"We're still dealing with the aftereffects of that," Gertz said.
Gertz concluded that the United States needs to fundamentally change the way it approaches China and "liberate the Chinese people" from communism.
"We've gone part of the way by identifying China as a strategic competitor or adversary, but not as a real enemy," he said. "And I think that we need to do that first. We need to be clear on the nature of the threat."