AG Barr: China Waging ‘Economic Blitzkrieg’ to Replace U.S. as Top Superpower

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), under dictator Xi Jinping, has launched an aggressive, governmentwide, whole-of-society “economic blitzkrieg” to replace America as the globe’s “preeminent superpower,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr warned on Thursday.

China’s “predatory economic policies are succeeding,” Barr conceded via written remarks prepared for delivery during a speech at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Michigan.

“For a hundred years, America was the world’s largest manufacturer — allowing us to serve as the world’s ‘arsenal of democracy,” he continued. “China overtook the United States in manufacturing output in 2010. The PRC is now the world’s ‘arsenal of dictatorship.'”

U.S. Department of State / YouTube

The AG focused his speech on U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy against the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Barr declared:

The General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, who has centralized power to a degree not seen since the dictatorship of Mao Zedong, now speaks openly of China moving “closer to center stage,” “building a socialism that is superior to capitalism,” and replacing the American Dream with the “Chinese solution.” China is no longer hiding its strength, nor biding its time. From the perspective of its communist rulers, China’s time has arrived.

The People’s Republic of China is now engaged in an economic blitzkrieg—an aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government (indeed, whole-of-society) campaign to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower.

“It is clear that the PRC seeks not merely to join the ranks of other advanced industrial economies, but to replace them altogether,” Barr added later.

Based on its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the total value of goods produced and services provided, China’s economy is considered the world’s second-largest after the United States.

However, “by some estimates, based on purchasing power parity, the Chinese economy is already larger than ours,” Barr conceded.

America is dangerously dependent on China for rare earth materials primarily used in the technology, medical, and even military hardware industries, he warned.

The U.S. is also heavily reliant on other vital goods and services, including medical personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, and even pharmaceuticals – something that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has spotlighted.

To “win the contest” against China’s economic offensive and remain the world’s top superpower, America will have to fight fire with fire by employing its own “whole-of-society” free-market approach, the AG concluded.

He explained:

To secure a world of freedom and prosperity for our children and grandchildren, the free world will need its own version of the whole-of-society approach, in which the public and private sectors maintain their essential separation but work together collaboratively to resist domination and to win the contest for the commanding heights of the global economy.

America has done that before. If we rekindle our love and devotion for our country and each other, I am confident that we—the American people, American government, and American business together—can do it again. Our freedom depends on it.

Communist China’s economy has “quietly grown from about two percent of the world’s GDP in 1980 to nearly 20 percent today,” Barr added.

China’s economic offensive is driven by its financial clout across the world fueled by U.S. companies, American academic and research institutions, and Hollywood’s willingness to appease the CCP to protect their bottom lines, Barr said.

Beijing’s global infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is also helping China’s “economic blitzkrieg” against America.

China’s influence operations targeting businesses, Hollywood, and academia, among other U.S. sectors, are seeking to “infiltrate, censor, or co-opt,” Barr cautioned.

Free and fair competition between U.S. companies that operate in a free-market economy and state-owned enterprises in China that enjoy massive financial support from the government have long been an illusion.

Barr pointed out:

To tilt the playing field to its advantage, China has resorted to “currency manipulation, tariffs, quotas, state-led strategic investment and acquisitions, theft and forced transfer of intellectual property, state subsidies, dumping, cyberattacks, and espionage.”

In the U.S., authorities have linked the vast majority of federal economic espionage prosecutions (80 percent) and trade secret theft cases (60 percent) to China, the AG said.

U.S. officials have acknowledged that China has emerged from the Cold War as an American adversary — a near-peer competitor that has used its unprecedented economic development to enable an impressive military buildup.

China’s efforts to grow and modernize its military have caused America’s “relative competitive military advantage” in the Indo-Pacific region, home to the South China Sea, “to erode in recent years,” a U.S. commander warned lawmakers in February.


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