Former Trump National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster Believes American Relations with China are Worse than with the Soviet Union
During an interview with Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” Sunday, former Trump National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster expressed his belief that American relations with China today are “worse” than they were with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. McMaster emphasized the complexity of U.S.-China relations due to the interconnectedness of their economies. He called for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to change its behavior in order to improve the relationship between the two countries.
Complexity of U.S.-China Relations
McMaster highlighted the interconnectedness of the American and Chinese economies as a major factor contributing to the complexity of U.S.-China relations. He stated that flawed assumptions about the nature of the relationship, particularly regarding the intentions of the Chinese Communist Party, have made the problem set more difficult than during the Cold War.
According to McMaster, the U.S. had believed that engaging with the Chinese Communist Party would determine its behavior. However, he acknowledged that the party had aspirations that went beyond reacting to American actions. McMaster emphasized China’s desire to establish itself as a central power.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Visit to Beijing
McMaster’s comments come as Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Beijing, marking the highest-level visit by an American official since President Biden took office. The talks between Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang were described as “candid,” but the Chinese foreign ministry admitted that the U.S.-China relationship is currently at its lowest point since its establishment.
China’s Aggressive Actions
McMaster expressed concern over recent acts of aggression by the People’s Liberation Army against Taiwan and a Chinese jet flying in front of an American reconnaissance plane. He interpreted these actions as China’s message that they are now in charge and that the West and the United States are finished.
McMaster further explained that China aims to establish an exclusionary area of primacy across the Indo-Pacific region, as evidenced by their claims in the South China Sea. He called for a strong response to China’s aggression and suggested that Blinken’s visit may be perceived as a sign of weakness.
China’s Perception of Strength
McMaster warned that China will use the talks with the U.S. to create a perception that the United States is paying homage to the Chinese Communist Party. He emphasized that China will leverage this perception to convince other countries in the region to align with them, using their perceived strength to exert influence.
Despite this, McMaster urged Blinken to approach the talks recognizing that the U.S. is in a position of relative strength. He argued that China’s actions are alienating itself from the rest of the world, giving the U.S. an advantage.
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