Ash Carter: We Need a New Playbook on China

‘It is a sustained competition with what is, after all, a communist dictatorship’


CARTER: "It — we have — it is not a Cold War, but it is a sustained competition with what is, after all, a communist dictatorship. Last time we had a sustained competition with a communist dictatorship was the Soviet Union, but we didn’t trade with them. We need a whole playbook for this. The Huawei thing, whether students should — Chinese students should go back to China or not, the trade talks, we need a new playbook, of which tariffs is one part, but I think only one part. I’ve watched the Chinese now, I’ve been dealing with them and their military leaders since the 1990s. It’s now Xi Jinping. Over that time, Mike, the tendency of Chinese to be sort of over-weaning, looking to dominate Asia, has taken over their earlier view, which is, 'Hey, this international system works pretty well for us. We get to be who we are, run our country our way, and we get to trade with everybody and develop our country.' We all hope this view would prevail, but it didn’t."

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