- The Trump administration has rejected its anti-China strategy
- The strategy focuses on the ability to defend Taiwan against attack
- Trump’s actions to combat China have received broad support from both parties
The Trump administration has released its strategy to ensure continued dominance over China, which aims to accelerate India’s rise as a counterweight to Beijing and defend Taiwan against attack.
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Tuesday announced the release of the document entitled “The United States Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific”. It was endorsed by President Donald Trump in February 2018 and provided “overarching strategic guidance” for US action over the past three years. It was released to demonstrate the US’s commitment to “keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open to the future,” O. Brien said in a statement.
“Beijing is putting increasing pressure on the Indo-Pacific states to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a” common fate “envisaged by the Chinese Communist Party,” O’Brien said in an expanded statement. “The US approach is different. We want to ensure that our allies and partners – all who share the values and aspirations of a free and open Indo-Pacific – can maintain and protect their sovereignty.”
The document provides a vision for the region where North Korea is no longer a threat, India is dominant in South Asia, and the US is working with partners around the world to resist Chinese activity and undermine sovereignty through coercion. It believed that China would take “increasingly assertive” steps to force unification with Taiwan and warned that its dominance of cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence “will pose great challenges to free societies”.
While the timing of the release just a week before President-elect Joe Biden took office raises questions about the motive, the Trump administration’s actions to combat China in Asia have received broad support from both parties. Incoming Biden officials have spoken of the need to work more with allies and partners against China, which is also an integral part of the strategy – particularly in strengthening security ties with Australia, Japan and India.
Rory Medcalf, professor and director of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said the document shows that US policy in Asia has been driven by efforts to “strengthen allies and counter China”. He noted, however, that the strategy was so ambitious that it was “almost certain to fail” on issues such as disarming North Korea, maintaining “primacy” in the region, and seeking international consensus against harmful Chinese economic practices.
“The shared framework will be of lasting value as the beginning of a state-wide blueprint for managing strategic rivalries with China,” wrote Medcalf in a post for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute research group. “If the US is serious about this long-term competition, it has no choice between getting its house in order domestically or projecting power in the Indo-Pacific. You have to do both at the same time.”
The main highlights of the report include:
- Assuming that China “aims to dissolve US alliances and partnerships in the region. China will capitalize on the vacuum and opportunity created by these diminished bonds.”
- “China is trying to dominate cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and bio-genetics and use them in the service of authoritarianism. The Chinese dominance in these technologies would pose great challenges for free societies.”
- “China will take increasingly determined steps to force unification with Taiwan.”
- Law to “Combat China’s Predatory Economic Practices That Freeze Foreign Competition, Undermine US Economic Competitiveness, and Foster the Chinese Communist Party’s drive to dominate the 21st century economy.”
- “Build international consensus that China’s industrial policies and unfair trade practices are damaging the global trading system.”
- “Work closely with allies and like-minded countries to prevent China from acquiring military and strategic capabilities.”
- Desired Outcome: “India’s preferred partner on security matters is the United States. The two are working together to maintain maritime safety and counter Chinese influence in South and Southeast Asia and other regions of mutual interest.”
- “India continues to lead the way in South Asia and takes the lead in maintaining security in the Indian Ocean.”
- “Accelerate India’s rise and ability to serve as a net security provider and key defense partner. Solidify an enduring strategic partnership with India backed by a strong Indian military.”
- “Enhancing the ability of emerging partners in South Asia, including the Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lankas, to contribute to a free and open order.”
- “Develop and implement a defense strategy capable of, but not limited to: (1) denying China continued air and sea dominance within the” first chain of islands “in a conflict; (2) the nations of the first chain of islands including Taiwan, and (3) dominate all domains outside the first chain of islands. “
- “Enable Taiwan to develop an effective asymmetrical defense strategy and capabilities that will help maintain its security, compulsiveness, resilience and the ability to engage China on its own terms.”
- Objective: “Convince the Kim regime that the only way to survive is to surrender its nuclear weapons.”
- “Maximize pressure on Pyongyang by using economic, diplomatic, military, law enforcement, intelligence, and intelligence tools to cripple North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs, curb currency flows, weaken the regime, and negotiate to reverse its nuclear power plant Missile programs that will ultimately achieve the full, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the peninsula. “
- “Do this by: (1) helping South Korea and Japan acquire advanced conventional military skills; (2) bringing South Korea and Japan closer together.”
South East Asia
- Objective: “To promote and strengthen the central role of Southeast Asia and Aseans in the security architecture of the region and to encourage them to speak with one voice on key issues.”
- “Promote an integrated economic development model in the Indo-Pacific that is a credible alternative to One Belt One Road; create a task force to make the most of public-private partnerships.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)