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Pottinger Threatens U.S. Business Leaders, Choose To Operate in U.S. or China, No Room for Both

March 30 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The launching of a concerted campaign against U.S. business cooperation with China, seen as a weak link in the otherwise tight bipartisan consensus for confrontation with China, was signalled by former Deputy National Security Advisor and anti-China hand Matt Pottinger, in a March 26 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Beijing Targets American Business,” adapted from his March 10 speech to the Hoover Institute.

Pottinger tells American businessmen “wishing for simple, lucrative commercial ties,” they must realize that the “ideological dimension of the competition” between China and the United States “is inescapable, even central.”

Beijing is out to impose a communist order; we must defend “American values.” To win the race against China, he rails, “will require America and its allies to consider in every policy we adopt, every bill we introduce, and every partnership that government and industry undertake, whether it increases our collective leverage in this competition or surrenders leverage to a hostile dictatorship in Beijing.”

President Joe Biden’s Interim National Security Strategic Guidance proved “there is significant continuity in U.S. strategy,” Pottinger writes. Beijing recognizes “that its efforts to influence Washington are increasingly in vain,” and that it is why it is “focusing its influence activities on other segments of American society, the business community in particular.”

It is Beijing, he lies, which seeks to decouple U.S. and European economies from China. He claims that no one in Washington is seriously threatening “wholesale decoupling,” only to turn around and laugh that “decoupling of a more limited variety is well underway.” In the Trump administration, we spoke of “selective decoupling”; some Biden officials call it “managed decoupling”; and Congressional figures like Sen. Tom Cotton speak of or “targeted decoupling,” he wrote.

Then the threat: “When so many different political voices are using such similar language, CEOs need to pay attention.” He recommends that “prudent” American CEOs review how “the new geopolitical reality” and “great-power competition” affect their businesses, and they should draw up contingencies for diversifying supply chains, because “American CEOs, their boards and their investors have to decide which side they want to help win.”

All of which makes almost humorous his shameless protests that Beijing’s recent sanctions against some current and former U.S. government officials—such as himself—are part of some Chinese “grand strategy ... to accumulate and exert economic leverage to achieve its political objectives around the world.” Unlike the Anglo establishment elite for which he speaks, which has deployed economic sanctions against some 30 countries, so far!

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