June 27, 2020 | The Hill

Bipartisan strategy for countering China’s challenge to international order

June 27, 2020 | The Hill

Bipartisan strategy for countering China’s challenge to international order

Excerpt

John Bolton’s new book describes President Trump alternately bashing and begging China’s leadership, all driven by shifting electoral considerations. If Bolton’s description is correct, such an “erratic” policy is particularly ironic because, outside the Oval Office, there is remarkable bipartisan concurrence on at least one key strategy for steadily advancing U.S. long-term interests regarding China.

In contrast to Trump’s announced withdrawal of the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO) and decision not to sanction China for its abuses against the Uighurs, key Democratic and Republican experts concur that the U.S. should leverage China’s human rights and other abuses to protect rather than abandon the rules-based international order (IO) and its associated laws and organizations. Given the threat posed by China, and the absence of bipartisanship on nearly anything else these days, this “China IO consensus” is deeply significant.

Trump justified terminating U.S. membership in the WHO by incorrectly asserting that “China has total control over the World Health Organization.” China does seek control over the WHO and various other international governmental organizations, but it is far from achieving that objective. However, China will gain control if Washington leaves the battlefield.

Orde Kittrie is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@FDD), law professor at Arizona State University, and author of Lawfare: Law as a Weapon of War.  FDD is a non-partisan think tank focused on national security issues. Follow him on Twitter @Ordefk.

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Issues:

China International Organizations