We’ve all tried ignoring a problem and hoping it will go away. How often does that work? The question is relevant because it appears to be the Biden administration’s plan for dealing with China.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was in Singapore to give a speech recently to the annual Shangri-La defense summit. This summit represents a unique opportunity to brush back adversaries, bolster allies, and lead on issues that matter most to the American people. He might as well have stayed home. Austin was more than 3,000 words into his 4,200-word speech before he even mentioned China. He devoted more important parts of the speech to the “power of partnership” and how the United States is the “world’s single largest donor of vaccines.”
Austin did eventually outline some threats in the region: “The pandemic. Climate change. Nuclear threats from North Korea. Coercion by larger states against their smaller neighbors. And cruelty and violence from the regime in Myanmar.”
While we can guess one of the countries Austin meant by “larger states” engaging in coercion, why should we need to guess? Can’t our own Secretary of Defense publicly name the top threat to America: China?
When he finally mentioned China in the