In a detailed policy document, President Trump’s State Department is warning the incoming administration that it must address a Chinese government intent on displacing the United States as the world’s foremost power.
“The Trump administration achieved a fundamental break with the conventional wisdom. It concluded that the CCP's [Chinese Communist Party's] resolute conduct and self-professed goals require the United States and other countries to revise assumptions and develop a new strategic doctrine to address the primacy and magnitude of the China challenge,” according to the document.
The State Department’s policy planning office, often called the department’s "think tank," wrote the report as a long-term document to "sketch a framework for the fashioning of sturdy policies that stand above bureaucratic squabbles and interagency turf battles and transcend short-term election cycles."
President-elect Joe Biden's plans for the U.S.-China relationship are largely unclear. He has said he wants to strengthen American alliances to confront Chinese aggression. Trump has repeatedly criticized previous presidential administrations and congressional Democrats for failing to address China's behavior, and there is a growing belief among Democrats and Republicans that the U.S. needs a more aggressive approach toward China's behavior.
China’s government is a mounting challenge to free countries that adhere to the international, rules-based system, according to the report. The paper also accuses China of illegally obtaining technology to control its own population, corrupting international institutions, pursuing extravagant territorial claims, brazenly defying international law, grossly abusing human rights, embarking on a military program to surpass U.S. dominance, and coordinating with American adversaries to push disinformation.
“The CCP’s recklessness in allowing the novel coronavirus born in Wuhan to develop into a global pandemic, coupled with the concerted disinformation campaign that Beijing undertook to conceal China’s culpability, should put doubts to rest,” according to the document.
The Trump administration said a thorough assessment of American alliances and international organizations is “long overdue” and that the government “must strengthen its alliance system by more effectively sharing responsibilities with friends and partners and by forming a variety of groupings and coalitions to address specific threats to freedom.”
It also recommends strengthening the American free market, enhancing U.S. economic agility and military capabilities, and encouraging the government to recruit officials who have mastered critical languages.