Heritage Experts Lead the Way on Countering China


Heritage Experts Lead the Way on Countering China

July 24th, 2020

Heritage Foundation experts have proven instrumental in guiding a robust response to China. Several recent actions directed toward China from the Trump administration and the British government mirror proposals made by Heritage analysts on topics ranging from Huawei and 5G to the inhumane treatment of the Muslim religious minority Uighurs in Xinjiang.

“We reiterated these recommendations relentlessly in reports and briefings and meetings with senior U.S. government officials,” says James Carafano, vice president of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and E.W. Richardson fellow. “Our experts also repeatedly advocated these policies in op-eds and various media hits in nationally syndicated media outlets including Fox and CNN. The issues were also raised in numerous public events at Heritage, around Washington, D.C., and in Asia.”

Olivia Enos, a senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center, recommended in her report, “Responding to the Crisis in Xinjiang,” that the U.S. sanction Chen Quanguo and other known entities responsible for oppressing individuals by using the Global Magnitsky Act. The Trump administration took this advice and sanctioned four Chinese nationals, including Chen, under the aforementioned law for their role in propagating violence against the Uighurs.

“The administration made the right decision when it sanctioned Chen Quanguo and other members of the Chinese Communist Party responsible for repressing over 1 million Uighurs in political reeducation camps,” Enos said after the administration’s move. “This is a great step toward holding members of the CCP accountable for their egregious human rights violations.”

In addition, the British government recently made the decision to revoke Huawei’s access to the United Kingdom's 5G infrastructure based on recommendations by Heritage policy analysts.

Nile Gardiner, director of Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, praised the decision by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“This is a huge step in the right direction by the British government, and a million miles away from its stance back in January,” says Gardiner. “This new posture toward Huawei will be a tremendous strategic blow to Beijing as the Chinese Communist government has invested a great amount of effort shaping political and public opinion in the U.K. Fortunately, that effort has come to naught.”

Heritage experts have also influenced U.S. policy toward Chinese expansion in contested international waters. In a 2014 report, “A National Strategy for the South China Sea,” Heritage’s Dean Cheng and Steven Groves argued that the United States should develop a national strategy for the South China Sea that includes an official position regarding the nature of the disputed land features in those waters.

This month, the U.S. State Department announced its position on continued Chinese expansion in the South China Sea using language contained in the report.

"The claims China makes over such large swathes of territory are dubious in light of international law," says Cheng. "They are in violation of the findings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. There is no reason to think the Chinese will back away from their increasingly assertive stance toward the South China Sea. It is up to America to check China's rampant encroachment, and its threat to global freedom of the seas."

The rise of China is the most persistent and consequential challenge that will confront the United States for the next several decades. Learn more about Heritage’s work to counter China’s threats to America.