America First China Policy Principles in Practice - Center Overview - China Policy Initiative

December 7, 2022

Communist China is Best Countered by Ensuring a Prosperous and Successful United States.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) represents the most comprehensive threat to our national security since the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago. The essential difference is that the CCP is far stronger economically and culturally and is embedded into nearly every aspect of American life. The path to American success lies in our own economic prosperity, secure supply chains, energy independence, cultural resilience, and military deterrence to neutralize the threat while avoiding war. Under the Trump Administration, the U.S. reversed decades of self-destructive policy that subordinated American economic and security interests to a globalist vision that would ostensibly transform China into a responsible partner. An America First China policy builds on those efforts to defeat the malign influences of China by making CCP policies largely irrelevant to American life. As a guiding principle, America First policy beings with reciprocity—the CCP and anyone tied to it should have no access to any institution or opportunity in America beyond that which we have access to in China.

  • American Prosperity. America First protects American workers and consumers from CCP exploitation through Strategic Decoupling.
    • Sustaining President Trump’s Section 301 China tariffs that protect American jobs and manufacturing capacity.
    • Ensuring that the Phase One trade agreement with China is fully enforced.
    • Banning People’s Republic of China-owned or controlled corporations from U.S. state-controlled pension funds.
    • Developing supply chains that rely solely on American workers, our allies, or our neighbors in the Americas.
    • Building the world’s greatest infrastructure system free from CCP ownership and investment.
    • Exposing China’s vast environmental abuses and their devasting human impacts.
  • American Intellectual and Cultural Security. America First maintains our open and thriving business and academic environments and the freedom of movement that enables them while fortifying them from CCP exploitation.
    • Prohibiting forced Intellectual Property transfers to Chinese entities that have cost hundreds of billions of dollars and enacting and enforcing strict punishments for violators.
    • Restricting and regulating foreign donations and endowments from foreign governments or foreign nationals to both state universities and local school systems.
    • Prohibiting Confucius Institute access to or involvement with any level of state or local school curricula, staffing, or other operations.
    • Enhancing scrutiny of foreign students coming from countries with adversarial governments attending American universities and imposing visa sanctions or travel bans if necessary to protect the homeland.
    • Restricting the supply of fentanyl, methamphetamines, and pill processing equipment from China that crosses our southern border through tariffs and sanctions.
  • America’s STRENGTH AND INDEPENDENCE. America First requires a robust military deterrent in the Western Pacific as the only proven strategy to avoid war and decoupling from broken international organizations that undermine American sovereignty and health.
    • Maintaining a defense budget large enough to ensure supremacy in the naval, air, space, nuclear and cyber domains, with an urgent focus on rebuilding the U.S. Navy and a credible nuclear deterrent.
    • Promoting Japan’s continued evolution into an indispensable check on China’s expansion as the premier democratic and responsible stakeholder in the region.
    • Vigorously supporting and equipping our other regional allies and partners with advanced military capabilities to counter China’s rise in East Asia and the South China Sea.
    • Launching a full and transparent investigation into COVID-19’s origins in Wuhan, China, and seeking China’s removal from leadership at the World Health Organization.
  • America’s Special Relationship with Taiwan. An America First China policy requires common sense changes to how we engage with Taiwan, the only democracy on the planet with no formal U.S. diplomatic relations. The failed decades-long establishment approach has resulted in a provocative ambiguity that puts Taiwanese independence at risk and endangers America’s deterrent credibility.
    • Engaging with Taiwan on all issues of priority for the well-being of the American people at whatever level we see fit.
    • Supporting the acceleration of Taiwan’s integration into the free world and global economy while strategically safe-shoring supply chains.
    • Honoring America’s stated commitments to fortify Taiwan’s self-defense and remove restrictions to its acquiring the military equipment and training it deems necessary.
    • Encouraging and supporting cultural, economic, and military ties with Japan and other regional allies to create a deterrent independent from any U.S. military intervention.

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