The West’s adversaries – China, Russia, Iran and North Korea – share the common goal of undermining American leadership in the international order.
They are coordinating more closely than anything seen on the world stage since the collusion of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, the Axis powers of World War II.
Like the West’s mortal enemies of a previous generation, today’s geostrategic opponents employ a variety of instruments to divide, weaken, and subvert American democracy.
They exploit the very strengths of the West – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly – to sow discord and dissension, suspicion and even paranoia among Americans. They strive to pit citizen against citizen, group against group, each fighting to save American democracy from perceived threats by the other side.
America’s enemies hope to foment domestic clashes to such a degree that tensions could approach a new American civil war. Preoccupied with fighting against each other, Americans would effectively be incapable of confronting external aggression on several fronts.
America’s adversaries are betting that the open democratic system they see as an American model of governance arrogantly touting its model of global governance will prove to be its own undoing. Chain’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin said in their 2022 joint statement that every country (meaning every ruling regime) can “decide whether their state is democratic”.
Two authentic democracies, recognized as such by the world, challenge this authoritarian presumption. The United States and Taiwan will hold crucial elections in 2024, each with three viable candidates.
President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party are so afraid of the Chinese people that they refuse to do this. allow them to express themselves through electionspreferring to intervene in Western elections and attempt to influence outcomes most favorable to the CCP’s interests.
In Taiwan, they to oppose Vice President William Lai, candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, who refuses to accept China’s policies distorted version of Taiwan’s history and his sinister plan for Taiwan’s future. The DPP reflects the views of the Taiwanese people who, having rid their country of Chiang Kai-Shek’s anti-communist dictatorship decades earlier, had no desire to submit to even more cruel oppression under the CCP.
Taiwan Voters I will decide next month Are Lai or his opponents who favor closer relations with China – Kuomintang candidate Hou Yu-ih and former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party – more likely to promote the interests Taiwan Security Agency.
In the United States, too, China has multiple candidates to consider, with recent polls indicating the field of votes has narrowed to Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and, for Republicans, either former President Donald Trump or to the former governor of South Carolina and American ambassador to the United States. United Nations, Nikki Haley.
Unlike Taiwan, where Beijing’s antipathy towards the DPP candidate is public knowledge, she kept her advice on the American who seemed to her to be the most favorable to China’s interests. But, based on recent history, its relative preferences can be inferred.
The Trump administration was the first in 40 years to challenge the wishful thinking that dominates American foreign policy that generous Western engagement would gradually move China away from its anti-Western hostility and toward what Richard Nixon called “the family of nations”.
But these transformative policies in China and Taiwan were the work of the impressive foreign policy and national security team that Trump had appointed and activated – until he lashed out – rather than the consequence of a any political determination of Trump himself. Haley was part of this impressive original team as it met with America’s friends and enemies at the United Nations.
Trump’s public remarks since the 2020 election, as well as revelations of his private views of his former appointees,reveal his lack of substantive foreign policy convictions. This position is entirely welcome in Beijing and Moscow, but it is so contrary to the positions of Haley and other former Trump appointees that there is no prospect of their reunion under a possible Trump presidency.
For this reason, China – which, according to the information, interfered in the 2022 midterm elections – a indicated a preference for Trump in 2024expecting his presidency, without his previous “tough” national security team, to be much more accommodating this time around.
Beijing would also not be unhappy with another Biden term, even if its policies are now closer to those of Trump’s first terms than Trump himself is currently. It could also raise hopes that Biden and his team will return to their more conciliatory Obama-era policies.
that of Biden capitulation on Afghanistan and its prolonged and temporizing policy answer Russian aggression in Ukraine likely weighs on Xi’s mind in favor of another Biden term – especially with the inexperienced Kamala Harris waiting in the wings.
At the same time, given that the chaos and instability of the US domestic situation is very much in China’s interests, a new Trump presidency is a tempting prospect. Whether it is Trump or Biden, Beijing will find plenty of opportunities to exploit. The prospect of either would allow America to contribute to the erosion of the capabilities and will to resist China’s expansionist goals.
Having had to face a strong female leader in Taiwan Over the past eight years, the only potential president Beijing absolutely does not want to face is Haley, who has shown great determination. hard approach towards America’s adversaries, particularly China, at the UN and in its campaign.
It is ironic that the two loudest exponents of the argument that Trump represents an existential threat to American democracy are Biden and the Democrats on one side and former New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie the other. However, despite the reality that both have the potential to politically derail Trump’s candidacy, neither Biden nor Christie will step aside and give Haley an unfettered opportunity to eliminate the Trump danger. Christie is now only splitting the anti-Trump primary vote. And Biden is probably the only Democrat who won’t be able to defeat Trump in 2024.
The national interest demands more from each of them if they believe that the fate of the Republic depends on this election.
Joseph Bosco served as China Country Director to the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Director of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief for the Asia-Pacific region from 2009 to 2010. He served at the Pentagon when Vladimir Putin invaded Georgia and was involved in the Defense Ministry. discussions on the American response. Follow him on Twitter @BoscoJosephA.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.