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China aims to supplant U.S. global leadership. If Beijing prevails, it will usher in a more authoritarian world where human rights, free markets and the rule of law are not respected. History will judge the next Congress in part based on how successfully it confronts this threat.
In the last few years, Washington has shed much of its naïveté vis-à-vis China. Few still believe that greater engagement will lead to a freer, more open China. Four decades of engagement strategy succeeded only in turning a cash-strapped authoritarian regime into a totalitarian economic powerhouse.
The next Congress will have to develop effective legislation to deal with the consequences of that failed strategy — everything from Beijing’s dominance of critical supply chains to its military expansion and modernization.
Thus far, congressional action hasn’t been very effective. This is partly because lawmakers are in uncharted territory. Not since the American Revolution has this country had to grapple with such a powerful adversary that enjoys so much leverage over the U.S. economy.
U.S. President Joe Biden, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their meeting on