An open letter to President Trump urged the president to stay the course on dealing with the Chinese government, which the letter states is in opposition to the values and strategic interests of the United States.
The letter, first published in the Journal of Political Risk, was written by retired Navy Captain James E. Fanell, a former director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The letter is a response to an open letter published by the Washington Post on July 3 titled "China is not an enemy."
"Over America's exceptional history, successive generations have risen to the challenge of protecting and furthering our founding principles, and defeating existential threats to our liberties and those of our allies," the letter reads, "Today, our generation is challenged to do the same by a virulent and increasingly dangerous threat to human freedoms – the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through the nation it misrules: the People’s Republic of China (PRC)."
Fanell's letter has 130 signatories, including veterans and former U.S. military officials, scholars and professors, think tank members, and other China watchers. The letter states, "China is not as we wish it to be. In our political system, politics is the norm, and war is the exception. It is explicitly the opposite in the PRC's worldview. Going forward, we must better understand and deal with this dangerous asymmetry."
The letter lists the abuses of the CCP, including suppression of freedom of speech and religion, corrupt economic practices, opposition to the existing international order, expansionism, and threats to go to war against the free and democratic country of Taiwan.
"The PRC’s immediate strategy is to delay, stall, and otherwise wait out your presidency," the letter reads, "Every effort must be made therefore to institutionalize now the policies and capabilities that can rebalance our economic relations with China, strengthen our alliances with like-minded democracies and ultimately to defeat the PRC’s global ambitions to suppress freedom and liberty."
Updated July 27, 2019: This article has been updated to note the open letter first appeared in the Journal of Political Risk, where additional signatures have since been added.