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Mike Pence Announces Cold War II

Walter Russell Mead

Did Cold War II break out last week while no one was watching? As the Kavanaugh confirmation battle raged, many Americans missed what looks like the biggest shift in U.S.-China relations since Henry Kissinger’s 1971 visit to Beijing.

The Trump administration’s China policy swam into view, and it’s a humdinger. Vice President Mike Pence gave a guide to the approach in a speech last week at the Hudson Institute (where I am a fellow). Denouncing what he called China’s “whole of government” approach to its rivalry with the U.S., Mr. Pence vowed the Trump administration will respond in kind. He denounced China’s suppression of the Tibetans and Uighurs, its “Made in China 2025” plan for tech dominance, and its “debt diplomacy” through the Belt and Road initiative. The speech sounded like something Ronald Reagan could have delivered against the Soviet Union: Mr. Xi, tear down this wall! Mr. Pence also detailed an integrated, cross-government strategy to counter what the administration considers Chinese military, economic, political and ideological aggression.

To read the full piece on the Wall Street Journal website, click here.

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