Trump can discipline China’s ‘bad actors’ by using Reagan’s Soviet solution



As the baseless impeachment proceedings grind on, the president is demonstrating his leadership and negotiating skills with the first steps of a trade deal with China. That has forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to — finally — agree to approve the Canada-Mexico-U.S. trade agreement (USMCA) she has sat on for a year to America’s detriment.

But lest we become giddy over improved trade relations with China, we must deal firmly with and recognize the commitment to communism of China’s President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders. Besides their interference in the Taiwan presidential election, they have — sometimes violently — attacked Hong Kong protesters who have voted overwhelmingly for freedom. And they have suppressed religious freedom throughout mainland China, as they have pursued military dominance in the South China Sea.

These communists are China’s “bad actors,” according to Roger Robinson Jr., a former National Security Adviser to Ronald Reagan. He calls for America to impose monetary and capital-access discipline similar to what we imposed on the Soviets in the 1980s.

In a recent speech at Hillsdale College in Michigan, Mr. Robinson, who served on Reagan’s National Security Council with Bill Clark, outlined how Reagan brought down the Soviet Union.

In 1982, the Soviets were spending far more than their revenues, and proposed to supply Western Europe with Russian natural gas, seeking Western capital to build the pipeline. Reagan and his White House team blocked Western financing sources, stopped the pipeline project and its flow of cash to the Soviets and brought down a bankrupt Soviet Union.
We are confronted with a similar threat to world peace and the rule of law from Communist China. We know of China’s continuing theft of intellectual property from many of America’s companies doing business there. We thought that admitting China to the World Trade Organization, which President Bush supported some 18 years ago, would mollify the Communist leadership and move China toward greater freedom. But that has not happened, as China has maintained its suppression of its people and now uses facial imaging techniques for greater control.