Bannon Puts Spotlight on China Threat for 2018: ‘The Single Biggest Economic and Business Issue of Our Time’

Bloomberg Businessweek

In Bloomberg Businessweek’s October 2017 cover story, Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon reflects on China’s threat to American stability and how growing concern about Beijing’s intellectual property theft and military belligerence will play a major role in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

From Joshua Green’s article in Bloomberg Businessweek:

Bannon, who’s been consulting with Henry Kissinger and other foreign policy veterans, is preparing a project to sound an alarm about what he views as the primary economic threat to America: China. “If we don’t get our situation sorted with China, we’ll be destroyed economically,” Bannon says, sitting in the Capitol Hill town house that serves as Washington headquarters of Breitbart News, where he returned as executive chairman after leaving the White House. “The forced technology transfer of American innovation to China is the single biggest economic and business issue of our time. Until we sort that out, they will continue to appropriate our innovation to their own system and leave us as a colony—our Jamestown to their Great Britain, a tributary state.”

[The lack of progress on China by the Trump administration] has convinced Bannon that an outside entity is necessary to focus U.S. attention—and political pressure—on confronting China more aggressively. What made up his mind, he says, was a pair of September meetings at Kissinger’s country home in Connecticut. The former Nixon secretary of state cited the period of the early 1970s, Bannon says, when American political leaders were preoccupied with ending the Vietnam War, while foreign policy hawks on the outside worried the U.S. was losing the Cold War to the Soviets. Those concerns led, in 1976, to the revival of the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War-era lobbying group formed in 1950 to promote the foreign policy ideas of Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson. Its aim was to strengthen U.S. resolve to counter the Soviet threat and lobby against détente and the SALT II arms-control agreement. “They understood that you couldn’t do it from inside,” Bannon says. “You had to go outside and, like a fire bell in the night, wake up the American people.” Since his departure from the White House, Bannon has also been meeting with Andrew Marshall, the Cold War strategist who served for 42 years as the director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment, where, among other things, he anticipated America’s rivalry with China.

Trump has held back from cracking down on China for economic, military, and political reasons. Several top White House officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser—both former financial executives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—fear that tariffs and similar measures could spark a damaging trade war. Ross says the administration has decided to defer a decision to impose tariffs on foreign steel so it can focus on tax reform. Trump’s most pressing foreign policy concern is containing the North Korean nuclear threat, a problem Chinese cooperation could help address. On Sept. 24, Ross left for a trip to Beijing ahead of Trump’s state visit in November.

Bannon is hoping pressure from him and fellow China hawks can tilt Trump toward action. To that end, he’s also planning to start a global conference series. “We are in advance discussions about having Breitbart sponsor a major security conference in sub-Saharan Africa, the Persian Gulf, central Europe, and East Asia, in early to mid-2018,” he says.

Back in Alabama, [Roy] Moore’s win [in the Alabama Senate runoff race] should give momentum to Bannon’s politics, especially if it encourages more outsider challenges to incumbent Republicans. The day after Moore’s victory, Bannon flew to Colorado to interview candidates in western states to carry the populist mantle in 2018. His effort to steer the GOP toward nationalism, Bannon explains, will involve encouraging candidates to take hard-line positions toward China. “Every day we are going to be making China a huge part of the ’18 and ’20 elections,” Bannon says.

Read the rest here.


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