White House declassifies China policy strategy document

The document lays out the Trump administration's approach to countering global Chinese influence

Updated: January 14, 2021 - 10:19am

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Days before President Trump is set to leave office, the White House has declassified a strategy document outlining this administration's attempts to address China's increasing global power.

Last week, the Trump White House ordered the declassification of documents that otherwise would not have been available to the public for decades. News reports on the information, for instance, would not have become available until 2043.

National security adviser Robert O'Brien indicated that the decision to declassify the document emphasizes the importance of understanding the attitude of American foreign policy toward China.

"The United States has a long history of fighting back against repressive regimes on behalf of those who value freedom and openness. As the world's largest economy, with the strongest military and a vibrant democracy, it is incumbent on the United States to lead from the front," O'Brien said in a statement.

The incoming Biden administration will now have to decide how aggressive an approach to take with China, relative to the Trump administration. Biden has been criticized heavily for his record on China as well as his family's dubious business ties to the country. 

Per the declassified document, the Trump administration placed a strong emphasis on courting regional allies close to China to assist in the U.S.'s regional policy goals. Some of the countries listed include Australia, Japan, South Korea, and India. The Biden administration will also assess how to treat those nations in relation to the U.S.'s territorial plan for China. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also taken several significant  steps to focus U.S. policy toward China on questions of cybersecurity, including the creation safe networks that protect American data.

Pompeo has also toured the globe encouraging U.S. allies to take seriously the threat of Chinese network dominance, and encourages allies of the U.S. in the east to consider forming a coalition to counter the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party.

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