In the second installment of Dr. Lenczowski’s interview on “Zooming In” with Simone Gao of NTD.TV, the two discussed Chinese-American relations and the effect that the new administration may have. NTD.TV is an American non-profit created by Chinese Americans who experienced the realities of Communist China.
Simone Gao began the interview asking Dr. Lenczowski if he agreed that, since the Clinton administration, trade has played the larger part in American foreign policy concerning China. Dr. Lenczowski explained that U.S. policy was based on the idea that, through an integrated economic policy, private business would allow China to take steps toward democracy. Instead, the Chinese regime learned from the collapse of the Soviet Union, and, by allowing a “quasi-private sphere,” the regime can let party members have “private interests” and become richer as a nation.
Furthermore, the Chinese regime is using its faux capitalism to attempt to maintain power through its international aggression. Dr. Lenczowski believes that the new administration will push back against China’s actions and bring the focus of American foreign policy back toward human rights issues. The rise of China as a military power that wishes to “revise the global international order” requires realism in the creation of foreign policy – which will be the defining characteristic of the Trump administration’s take on addressing China.
Dr. Lenczowski observed that it is important to make the Chinese regime understand that American policymakers understand its vulnerabilities. He noted that the Chinese regime is illegitimate, and an illegitimate regime breeds fear within itself: fear of its people, its people’s ideas, and uncensored information. This fact, Dr. Lenczowski believes, can be exploited by the new administration not only to keep China in line, but to benefit the United States. This shift in policy will be difficult to maintain, however, due to the very nature of the American political system without the unifying fears of the Cold War.