Atlas Organization founder Jonathan Ward on relationships with China and Trump’s executive order

Jonathan Ward

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Chinese officials who are committing human rights atrocities in Xinjiang, and now those that are enacting the crackdown in Hong Kong.

As China pushes on multiple fronts and takes action around its region, we’re pushing back, which is a pretty important move. What’s even more important – the President invoked the International Economic Emergency Powers Act.

This is an act that we all should be paying a lot of attention because it’s really the key to strategic competition with China. It gives the President a great deal of power to alter and change the economic relationship and do all kinds of things in the bilateral relationship that can put pressure on China. So we’re going to hear about the Act again.

Also, the U.S. has released a position on maritime claims in the South China Sea. That’s the South China Sea, where China and the communist party has been militarizing that area. The State Department has rejected all of China’s claims to this area as unlawful, which is a big step again.

The South China Sea is really only the beginning of China’s maritime ambitions. They’re using it as a springboard to go across the West Pacific, across the Indian Ocean into the South Pacific. At this point, they built one of the largest maritime fleets there is.

They’re building a massive blue water navy, so we’re finally taking action against China. That’s what you’re starting to see, particularly in the last few months as coronavirus provides an extra impedance to push back on this regime.

We know that China has said that they will retaliate already. We know that they’ve sanctioned GOP senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz after the U.S. accused them of the human rights issues because of the Uyghurs and the treatment of the Muslims, who are locked up in camps.

At this point, they’re in a war of words with the United States, and they’re doing their best to show that they can take reciprocal action.

The other thing we should be more concerned about is where do they actually have points of leverage. There have been Chinese speeches about how China held the soft underbelly of America in its hands through companies like General Motors, Apple, Ford, Starbucks, etc.

They still think that our business executives are a lever to push back against the U.S. policy when they’ve tried that before, where they bring executives over to try and tell them that they have to go back to Washington and try to de-escalate things.

We’re going to see that kind of thing coming as well as other sorts of symbolic acts against American officials.

Meanwhile, the U.K. banning the Chinese technology giant from its 5g telecom network – all existing Huawei equipment must be removed by 2027. It’s a big difference from where Britain was just a couple years ago wanting a golden decade with China.

We’ve seen a massive strategic shift taking place in the United Kingdom. They’re coming back to the special relationship with the United States and becoming a part of a much broader coalition that can ultimately defeat the people’s republic of China.

If you look at what’s happened in India in the past month, what’s happening in Australia and Japan (Japan just released a new defense white paper) – these are the democracies that can ultimately come together to cut back our economic dependence on China, begin to box them in and finally come up with a grand winning strategy that unites the democratic world.

This is the biggest problem of our time, the communist party of China is basically the bad guys, and we’re going to have to defeat them. That’s going to start working with our allies on everything from 5g to collective defense to you know new trade relationships.

We have the allies on this because the U.S. probably can’t do this alone. We need allies across the world to do that. We’ve seen a string of various speeches: we’ve heard from Secretary Pompeo, we’ve heard from now Christopher Wray, the Head of the FBI, we’ve heard from Robert O’Brien, NSA and we’re all feeling like what’s coming out of these speeches is a new affront against American corporations who are looking to sell their widgets to the 1.4 billion people in China.

The business relationship with China has peaked at this point, and that all has to be revised. We do need CEOs and boards to start taking this seriously and realize that we have a genuine national security problem.

This is the biggest long-term threat to both our security and prosperity and those that prioritize prosperity over security will have neither in the end.

The bottom line we’re going to have to rethink the economic relationship already happening, but we need the CEOs on board. That’s the next big step because otherwise, we’ll have this big conflict between U.S. national security and U.S. business. We can’t have that conflict, and we need to be on the same side.

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