Even in Western Europe, long committed to engaging and conciliating rather than confronting China, COVID has generated an anti-China backlash, more muted on the continent but stronger in Britain where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined President Trump in imposing a complete ban on Chinese 5G vendor Huawei.
President Trump’s predecessor foolishly and dangerously said, “We welcome China’s rise,” and significantly shrank American defense spending — including our Ground-based Midcourse Defense System (GMD), the only U.S. missile defense system devoted to defending the U.S. homeland from long-range ballistic missile attacks — while China was armed prodigiously.
President Trump’s salutary hectoring for our allies to do more — yielding impressive results in Europe that President Obama and Vice President Biden failed to match — also runs the risk of reaching a culminating point counterproductive to forging a muscular strategic consensus actively countering China’s ambitions.
On the contrary, former Sen. Biden had moved steadily in a more dovish direction on national security even before becoming President Obama’s vice president and cheerleading for Obama’s dangerous doctrine that President Trump has repudiated in its entirety.
Will a Biden administration also — like President Trump’s — designate China’s grandiose ambitions and predatory behavior as danger number one and bolster our protective capabilities such as missile defense (as the President’s latest budget does)?