U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr warned the United States about the number one threat to national and international security: The People’s Republic of China. At an address at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, he said China is using “a wide array of predatory and often unlawful tactics,” and the Chinese Communist Party’s “Made in China 2025” initiative serves the purpose of being the leader in high-tech industries. The “unlawful” tactics include currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property, cyber-attacks, and espionage. While China has been accused over the years of all of these tactics, he said the U.S. is “dangerously dependent” in areas which include rare earth materials, technological devices, and pharmaceuticals. For example, Barr said if China limited delivery of pharmaceuticals to the US, there would be severe consequences in shortages in both domestic and military uses.
Barr said that China has been systematically “preying” on America companies, and that Chinese nationals who work at American companies have already been caught stealing information and bringing it back to China. Barr said that companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have being “all too willing” to work with China for near-sighted economic gains. He said, “If you are an American business leader, appeasing the PRC may bring short-term rewards. But in the end, the PRC’s goal is to replace you.”
Alluding to Germany’s military tactic in the World War II, Barr said the Chinese government is “engaged in an economic blitzkrieg,” with the goal to replace America as the world’s superpower.
President Trump has taken a tough stance against China throughout his administration. But given the wake and the effects of the Coronavirus, it appears his administration plans to go further in their response to China’s nefarious policies. The Department of Defense and the State Department are keeping a watchful eye on China’s advancement into the South China Sea, and Trump enacted tariffs against Beijing for their overreach in Hong Kong. Barr’s warning today will be heard around the world, and it should be expected the U.S. will take a firmer hand against China’s encroachment on the U.S. economy.