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A Native Chinese scholar is lauding the Trump administration for its decision to order China’s consulate in Houston closed after determining it was a hub of espionage, saying that the Communist regime in Beijing has finally “met its match.”
Helen Raleigh, an immigration policy fellow at the Centennial Institute in Colorado, told Fox News the administration’s aggressive decision has sent a strong message to the ruling Chinese Communist Party that it has not experienced.
“The CCP believes the law of the jungle. ‘Might makes right,'” she told the network. “So the Trump administration is the first foreign administration the CCP ever met that also believes the law of the jungle and is not afraid to confront the CCP. The people in Trump’s administration are willing to bear those costs.
“We can see that from the consulate closure, they knew China would retaliate, but they are willing to take that risk that nobody else in the world is willing to take. So the CCP has finally met its match,” Raleigh explained further.
In the months following his inauguration, President Trump sought to level the economic playing field between the U.S. and China, imposing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on Chinese imports.
While China responded in kind, the two sides eventually came to terms on a trade agreement in late 2019, with Beijing pledging to substantially increase its purchases of American-made goods and agriculture.
But China’s role in the coronavirus pandemic dramatically soured relations with Washington, with the president saying last week he’s “not interested” in renewing trade negotiations.
In the meantime, his administration has been cracking down on Chinese intellectual property theft and other forms of espionage.
In February, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned state leaders during a speech at the winter meeting the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C., that Beijing was infiltrating think-tanks, universities, the media, and the government.
Late last week, a Chinese researcher was arrested in San Francisco — a hub of Chinese espionage — for falsifying information on her visa.
Juan Tang had been charged with visa fraud for hiding her ties to the Chinese military in June. She went into hiding at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco; the Justice Department said she does not qualify for diplomatic immunity.
After ordering the Houston consulate closed, U.S. officials pried open the doors to the facility and took it over, by order of the federal government.
On Friday, the Houston Fire Department was called to respond to several fires in the complex’s courtyard as Chinese consular officials burned tranches of documents. Chinese officials refused entry to firefighters.
Raleigh said that the administration is taking the right tact with China.
“There are a series of steps that the Trump administration has taken — particularly last week almost on a daily basis — related to new sanctions and new policy changes against the CCP,” Raleigh said. “But the biggest news was the closure of China’s consulate in Houston and then China retaliated, closing the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.”
She cited a speech that Pompeo gave last week indicating a major change in decades-old U.S. policy towards China that embraced Beijing’s economic rise.
“He identified the problem in the U.S.-China relationship, which are the same problems that China has with the rest of the world,” Raleigh told Fox News.
“China has a very different political and ideological system, especially compared to free nations like the United States,” she added. “For the past several decades, free nations mistakenly thought that as long as they keep engaging China, engaging the CCP, eventually with economic liberation — the CCP would change.
“The Chinese system would become a more liberal and open society like ours. Secretary Pompeo in his speech recognized that this assumption was wrong and it’s been wrong for several decades,” she said of the policy begun following the reestablishment of formal relations with China during the Nixon administration.
“This was not his first speech on the subject and it’s probably one of the only things that people from both parties can agree upon. That the past approach has failed,” Raleigh added.
“Sec. Pompeo summarized the Trump administration’s China policy in two words — ‘induce change.’ They want to induce a change of behaviors of the CCP.”
She noted that the Trump administration’s policies are two-fold: First, confront China on all fronts and then force Bejing’s leaders to the negotiating table on a range of issues.
But various administrations for decades have refused to be so aggressive, the China scholar added.
“In the past four decades, China has been very aggressively pressing the limits. It is single-minded. They want to become the sole world power and change the world order to fit China’s ideology,” she said.
“Past administrations from George W. Bush to Barack Obama worried about the cost of confrontation — on the economic and military front. The cost of confronting them has become so much greater now that past administrations, as well as other countries, didn’t want to deal with it. Until the Trump administration [got involved],” said Raleigh.
“China is so powerful today, no matter which strategy the United States chooses, it’s going to come with a cost,” Raleigh added.
“There’s no way to avoid a cost. So it’s really coming down to how much cost we are ready to bear. And keep in mind, when China and the U.S. confront each other, China bears cost too. Both countries need to calculate how much of a cost they are willing to bear.”
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