America First Policy Institute Launches China Policy Initiative

February 03, 2022

Renowned China Expert and Former White House Official (2001-2005) Steve Yates Appointed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) launched the China Policy Initiative and announced the appointment of the Honorable Steve Yates as Chair. The Initiative will advance policies that reverse decades of Washington’s accommodation of Communist China that nurtured an existential rival and advocates strategies to protect our Nation and livelihood without war.

“For decades, D.C. insiders and Wall Street elites perpetuated the lie that American engagement with Communist China would cause that nation to open, to liberalize, and to reform. They were wrong,” said Linda McMahon, Chair of the Board of the AFPI, “Communist China today poses the single largest and systemic threat to Americans’ security and prosperity and affects them in every sphere of their lives.” 

The China Policy Initiative will be uniquely situated inside the America First Policy Institute and bring multi-faceted expertise across multiple disciplines to address the threat Communist China poses to Americans. The China Policy Initiative will draw upon the intellectual leadership and resources from all 21 policy centers within the AFPI to provide new research and ideas and identify new threats emerging from the Chinese Communist Party. Our approach begins with understanding and responding to hard truths about Communist China. We add to that by demonstrating how to take a “whole of society” approach to meet and overcome these challenges.

“We deeply respect the Chinese people and their storied history and contributions to the human experience,” said Steve Yates, Chair of the China Policy Initiative. “However, from stealing Americans’ jobs to the theft of American intellectual property, to being the world’s top polluter of our air and oceans, to its indoctrination of Americans through cooptation of Wall Street, Hollywood, and major cultural and educational institutions, and, of course, the fact that COVID-19 emerged from China and killed 1 million Americans, the threat we face from the Chinese Communist Party is everywhere and real.” 

The China Policy Initiative Introduces “China 2022: An Olympic-Sized Threat”
Beginning Friday, February 4, 2022, AFPI’s China Policy Initiative will release daily information highlighting AFPI research on different aspects of the threats from Communist China as well as the needed America First approach in addressing it. The effort will include a keynote event featuring government and other leaders who have been at the forefront of addressing Communist China’s threats.

“As the 2022 Winter Olympic games prepare to open in Communist China, AFPI salutes all our athletes and wishes Team USA the best of luck in their competitions,” said Brooke Rollins, President and CEO. “This 16-day propaganda spectacle should not fool the world. Communist China poses an Olympic-sized threat to freedom-loving people across this country and the free world.”

America First Policy Institute and its China Policy Initiative will host additional events related to the Olympics in the coming weeks. Details to follow. 

Read statements from AFPI’s leadership here.


The Honorable Steve Yates

Steve Yates is from St. Petersburg, Florida, and serves as a Senior Fellow and Chair of the China Policy Initiative. He is an analyst and practitioner with experience at various levels of politics, policy, media, and national security affairs. A veteran commentator and trainer for television, radio, and print media opportunities, Yates has navigated policy decision-making processes across agencies, foreign and domestic. Since 2006, he has been a senior advisor to presidential campaigns, a frequent media commentator, and CEO of D.C. International Advisory. He previously served as President of Radio Free Asia and Professor in the Practice of International Business and Politics at Boise State University. Before opening D.C. International Advisory, Yates served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for National Security Affairs from 2001 through 2005, where he provided direct support to the Vice President and his national security advisor for White House deliberations. Yates served as chairman of the Idaho Republican Party from August 2014 to April 2017 and as co-chair of the 2016 Republican Platform Subcommittee on National Security. Yates was a candidate for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in Idaho’s May 2018 primary. He regularly appears on several national TV and radio stations. He previously served as Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation and an analyst at the National Security Agency. He received a master’s degree in China Studies from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Yates’ TV career began in 1980 at age 12 on Ed Walker’s WJLA AM Washington show, after winning a coloring contest sponsored by the Muppets, Woodward & Lothrop, and The Washington Post.