New National Security Doctrine Calls Out China, Russia
A new 68-page national security doctrine published by the White House is under fire for describing Russia and China as “revisionist” powers for seeking a change in the American-led world order. The document acknowledges Russia’s hostile schemes, identifies long-term challenges with China, and builds on Trump’s “America first” rhetoric. The national security strategy provides Congress with a guide for an administration’s intended policies around the world.
In the new national security strategy, China is mentioned 23 times, nearly twice as many as in the Obama administration’s last report. The doctrine says that Russia and China “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”
The Obama White House had hoped that the rise of China would lead Beijing to be a “strategic partner” with Washington. On the 2016 campaign trail, candidate Trump was calling out China as a currency manipulator. He began to back off of that stance when he became president.
President Trump now touts the “great chemistry” enjoyed with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Last month in China, Trump stood next to Xi as he said that the two sides had “a chance to strengthen ties and improve the lives of our citizens and stand together against those who threaten our civilization.”
President Trump’s speech about the new doctrine took a softer line on Russia than the document did. Mr. Trump made no mention in his speech of Russian interference in the 2016 election. United States intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian meddling in the election was intended to help Mr. Trump win.
Trump’s new security strategy seems to have caught Beijing by surprise. The Chinese response stated, “On the one hand, the U.S. government claims that it is attempting to build a great partnership with China On the other hand, it labels China as a rival. We call on the United States to abandon its outdated zero-sum thinking, and work together with China to seek common ground and engage in win-win cooperation.”
Officials in Russia also rejected the notion that their country is a threat to the United States. Dmitri S. Peskov, President Vladimir V. Putin’s spokesman, responded that the doctrine showed America’s continuing “aversion to the multipolar world.”