Why It's Time To Label China a 'Genuine Adversary'

Policy proposal outlines path to isolate Communist regime

Russian president Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, Feb. 4, 2022. / Reuters
April 26, 2022

Congress must move to designate China as a "genuine adversary" by implementing a series of proposals that will isolate the Communist regime and cut it out of the U.S. economy, according to a new policy brief exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The brief, from Heritage Action—the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank—seeks to send a message to the Biden administration and lawmakers: "Stop strengthening China." It proposes fundamentally altering the U.S. relationship with China by barring Chinese nationals from participating in federal programs, banning China from the U.S. supply chain, and icing it out of all national security projects. The recommendations are meant to serve as guideposts for congressional legislation to increase U.S. competition with China.

"The U.S.-China relationship is one of genuine adversaries, not friendly competitors," the policy brief states, explaining that Congress must frame its overall approach to the CCP through this lens. "Only when a problem is properly identified can it be solved. We will not be capable of taking the necessary steps to combat the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) influences until we recognize that the Communist Party only acts in ways to advance its interests and undermine America."

The policy brief comes amid a growing stand-off between the United States and China, both economically and militarily. The Communist regime has for years been the primary source of espionage operations against America that have targeted the federal government, national security apparatus, and critical businesses. Its deepening ties with malign regimes—including Russia, Iran, and North Korea—also signals that the CCP's ultimate goal is to supplant America as the world's leading force. To counter this, the Biden administration and Congress must develop a multi-pronged plan to slice China out of America's economy and leading academic institutions, according to the Heritage Action's proposal.

The proposal was created by a team of veteran political analysts in an attempt to reverse America's decades of economic subservience to the Communist Party.

"For too long, American foreign policy has empowered the Chinese Communist Party to continue their work in undermining American economic and strategic interests," Jessica Anderson, Heritage Action's executive director, told the Free Beacon. "Between China's espionage efforts, supply chain dominance, human rights violations, and role in COVID-19, their threats to the United States are wide-ranging and serious."

"Unless Congress and the Biden administration can start holding China accountable and unleashing American innovation, the CCP could cause irreparable damage to our economy, national security, stability, and global leadership," Anderson said.

One of the first steps to combating CCP espionage, Heritage Action says, is to revive the Department of Justice's China Initiative, a Trump-era project that ferreted out and prosecuted Chinese spies. The initiative was dissolved by the Biden administration, which claimed the program was racist against Chinese nationals. Statistics issued by the Justice Department indicate 80 percent of economic espionage prosecutions in the United States are related to China.

The United States must also bar members of the CCP and other Chinese nationals from participating in federally funded projects, "including at U.S. or allied universities with an explicit ban on U.S. universities hosting Confucius Institutes," according to the proposal. Confucius Institutes are a network of CCP-backed propaganda organizations that have deep ties to many American colleges.

On the economic front, the United States must move to build a "China-resistant economy." This can be accomplished by cutting the regime out of the U.S. supply chain and key industries, such as the electronics, energy, and pharmaceutical sectors.

"It should be obvious that America should not undertake initiatives that strengthen China," according to the proposal. "Protecting U.S. innovation and cutting-edge technology from Chinese-sponsored espionage and corporate theft is a critical front line in this new cold war."

The United States must turn away from China to "establish strategic stockpiles of critical electronics and raw, rare-earth minerals needed to build them. Establishing new production and manufacturing capacity in other key industries such as energy and pharmaceuticals also must be a priority. We must put up defenses between U.S. investment, research, and supply chains and China to protect the economic and technological advances that drive our hard power advantage."