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Harvard China Expert Hits Back at Anti-China Nonsense

Nov. 25, 2022 (EIRNS)—Dr. William H. Overholt, a Senior Research Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, addressed on Nov. 19 a Harvard seminar and led Harvard’s Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, responded to questions afterward. Overholt took on many aspects of the anti-China narrative and deconstructed more than a few of its arguments. Overall, he gave the Biden administration a “D+” on its China policy.

Specifically on Biden, he said this administration

“has completely reneged on the 1979 agreement that’s been the basis for peace in Taiwan. ... That we will not have official relations, we will not have an alliance. ... China has honored the agreement. We have broken the agreement.” He added “we Americans are the problem. And Biden has, more explicitly than anybody else, repudiated the deal on which Taiwan’s success is built.”

Overholt went on to ridicule the statement that China is planning to invade Taiwan, and chastised the U.S. for “creating the problem that we think we’re trying to deter.” This would be worse than Ukraine, he said. “The risk is nuclear war.”

On the CHIPS Act and decoupling, Overholt called it a “declaration of economic war. ... This is going 30, 40% of the way toward what we did with Japan, cutting off their oil before Pearl Harbor.” Moreover, it will backfire, because it will “damage the American semiconductor industry” while at the same time China will “flick the switch to the emergency setting” to build up their own semiconductor industry, and “China will succeed.”

Overholt says more, but overall, he provides a valuable and timely contribution to an otherwise mindless discussion within the United States regarding China.

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