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  • Thank you, Ken, for that kind introduction.

  • To the Members of the Board of Trustees, to Dr. Michael Pillsbury,

  • to our distinguished guests,

  • and to all of you who, true to your mission in this place,

  • think about the future in unconventional ways

  • –- it is an honor to be back at the Hudson Institute.

  • For more than a half a century, this Institute has dedicated itself to dvancing global security, prosperity, and freedom.”

  • And while Hudson's hometowns have changed over the years,

  • one thing has been constant:

  • You have always advanced that vital truth,

  • that American leadership lights the way.

  • And today, speaking of leadership,

  • allow me to begin by bringing greetings from a great champion of American leadership at home and abroad

  • –- I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America,

  • President Donald Trump.

  • (Applause.)

  • From early in this administration,

  • President Trump has made our relationship with China and President Xi a priority.

  • On April 6th of last year, President Trump welcomed President Xi to Mar-a-Lago.

  • On November 8th of last year, President Trump traveled to Beijing, where China's leader welcomed him warmly.

  • Over the course of the past two years, our President has forged a strong personal relationship

  • with the President of the People's Republic of China,

  • and they've worked closely on issues of common interest,

  • most importantly the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

  • But I come before you today because the American people deserve to know that,

  • as we speak, Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach,

  • using political, economic,

  • and military tools, as well as propaganda, to advance its influence

  • and benefit its interests in the United States.

  • China is also applying this power in more proactive ways than ever before,

  • to exert influence and interfere in the domestic policy and politics of this country.

  • Under President Trump's leadership,

  • the United States has taken decisive action to respond to China with American action,

  • applying the principles and the policies long advocated in these halls.

  • In our National Security Strategy that the President Trump released last December, he described a new era of

  • great power competition.”

  • Foreign nations have begun to,

  • as we wrote, “reassert their influence regionally and globally,”

  • and they arecontesting [America's] geopolitical advantages and trying

  • [in essence] to change the international order in their favor.”

  • In this strategy,

  • President Trump made clear that the United States of America has adopted a new approach to China.

  • We seek a relationship grounded in fairness,

  • reciprocity, and respect for sovereignty,

  • and we have taken strong and swift action to achieve that goal.

  • As the President said last year on his visit to China,

  • in his words,

  • we have an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our two countries

  • and improve the lives of our citizens.”

  • Our vision of the future is built on the best parts of our past,

  • when America and China reached out to one another in a spirit of openness and friendship.

  • When our young nation went searching in the wake of the Revolutionary War for new markets for our exports,

  • the Chinese people welcomed American traders laden with ginseng and fur.

  • When China suffered through indignities and exploitations during her so-called

  • Century of Humiliation,”

  • America refused to join in,

  • and advocated theOpen Doorpolicy, so that

  • we could have freer trade with China, and preserve their sovereignty.

  • When American missionaries brought the good news to China's shores,

  • they were moved by the rich culture of an ancient and vibrant people.

  • And not only did they spread their faith,

  • but those same missionaries founded some of China's first and finest universities.

  • When the Second World War arose, we stood together as allies in the fight against imperialism.

  • And in that war's aftermath,

  • America ensured that China became a charter member of the United Nations,

  • and a great shaper of the post-war world.

  • But soon after it took power in 1949,

  • the Chinese Communist Party began to pursue authoritarian expansionism.

  • It is remarkable to think that only five years after our nations had fought together,

  • we fought each other in the mountains and valleys of the Korean Peninsula.

  • My own father saw combat on that frontier of freedom.

  • But not even the brutal Korean War could diminish our mutual desire

  • to restore the ties that for so long had bound our peoples together.

  • China's estrangement from the United States ended in 1972,

  • and, soon after, we re-established diplomatic relations

  • and began to open our economies to one another, and

  • American universities began training a new generation of Chinese engineers,

  • business leaders, scholars, and officials.

  • After the fall of the Soviet Union,

  • we assumed that a free China was inevitable.

  • Heady with optimism at the turn of the 21st Century,

  • America agreed to give Beijing open access to our economy,

  • and we brought China into the World Trade Organization.

  • Previous administrations made this choice in the hope

  • that freedom in China would expand in all of its forms

  • -– not just economically, but politically,

  • with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles,

  • private property, personal liberty,

  • religious freedomthe entire family of human rights.

  • But that hope has gone unfulfilled.

  • The dream of freedom remains distant for the Chinese people.

  • And while Beijing still pays lip service toreform and opening,”

  • Deng Xiaoping's famous policy now rings hollow.

  • Over the past 17 years,

  • China's GDP has grown nine-fold;

  • it's become the second-largest economy in the world.

  • Much of this success was driven by American investment in China.

  • And the Chinese Communist Party has also used an arsenal of policies inconsistent with free and fair trade,

  • including tariffs, quotas, currency manipulation,

  • forced technology transfer,

  • intellectual property theft,

  • and industrial subsidies that are handed out like candy to foreign investment.

  • These policies have built Beijing's manufacturing base,

  • at the expense of its competitors

  • -– especially the United States of America.

  • China's actions have contributed to a trade deficit with the United States that last year ran to $375 billion

  • –- nearly half of our global trade deficit.

  • As President Trump said just this week, in his words,

  • We rebuilt Chinaover the last 25 years.

  • Now, through theMade in China 2025” plan,

  • the Communist Party has set its sights on controlling

  • 90 percent of the world's most advanced industries,

  • including robotics, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

  • To win the commanding heights of the 21st century economy,

  • Beijing has directed its bureaucrats

  • and businesses to obtain American intellectual property

  • –- the foundation of our economic leadership

  • -– by any means necessary.

  • Beijing now requires many American businesses to hand over their trade secrets

  • as the cost of doing business in China.

  • It also coordinates and sponsors the acquisition of American firms

  • to gain ownership of their creations.

  • Worst of all,

  • Chinese security agencies have masterminded the wholesale theft of American technology

  • –- including cutting-edge military blueprints.

  • And using that stolen technology,

  • the Chinese Communist Party is turning plowshares into swords

  • on a massive scale.

  • China now spends as much on its military as the rest of Asia combined,

  • and Beijing has prioritized capabilities to erode America's military advantages

  • on land, at sea, in the air, and in space.

  • China wants nothing less than to push the United States of America from the Western Pacific

  • and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies.

  • But they will fail.

  • Beijing is also using its power like never before.

  • Chinese ships routinely patrol around the Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Japan.

  • And while China's leader stood in the Rose Garden at the White House

  • in 2015 and said that his country had,

  • and I quote, “no intention to militarizethe South China Sea,

  • today, Beijing has deployed advanced anti-ship and anti-air missiles

  • atop an archipelago of military bases constructed on artificial islands.

  • China's aggression was on display this week,

  • when a Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards

  • of the USS Decatur as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea,

  • forcing our ship to quickly maneuver to avoid collision.

  • Despite such reckless harassment,

  • the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail,

  • and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand.

  • We will not be intimidated and we will not stand down.

  • (Applause.)

  • America had hoped that economic liberalization

  • would bring China into a greater partnership with us and with the world.

  • Instead, China has chosen economic aggression,

  • which has in turn emboldened its growing military.

  • Nor, as we had hoped, has Beijing moved toward greater freedom for its own people.

  • For a time, Beijing inched toward greater liberty and respect for human rights.

  • But in recent years, China has taken a sharp U-turn toward control and oppression of its own people.

  • Today, China has built an unparalleled surveillance state,

  • and it's growing more expansive and intrusive

  • often with the help of U.S. technology.

  • What they call theGreat Firewall of Chinalikewise grows higher,

  • drastically restricting the free flow of information to the Chinese people.

  • And by 2020, China's rulers aim to implement an Orwellian system

  • premised on controlling virtually every facet of human lifethe so-calledSocial Credit Score.”

  • In the words of that program's official blueprint,

  • it willallow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven,

  • while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”

  • And when it comes to religious freedom,