“Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed an executive order curtailing U.S. high-tech investment in China, reflecting a bipartisan consensus that U.S. investment should not be helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in these highly strategic industries. Such efforts are welcome, but to be truly effective, must be part of a broader strategy to push back on Beijing’s pursuit of global domination.

“Military strength is obviously necessary for the free world to prevail in this new great power contest—however, it is not sufficient. The CCP uses economic leverage and elite capture to exert political influence, deploying information operations and exporting its authoritarian governance model to create the conditions for Beijing to advance its local and global interests. The more successful China is in eroding democracy around the world, the better placed it will be to undermine American interests and supplant the United States as the global superpower.

“We need a strategy that combines the serious commitment of hard power resources and economic statecraft with a robust campaign to counter China by strengthening democratic resilience around the world. The United States has deployed foreign assistance to advance its geopolitical interests since the end of World War II, when the Marshall Plan was used to rebuild Europe and Japan’s social and economic foundations to prevent a Soviet takeover. Throughout the Cold War, the United States used foreign aid as part of its strategy of containment, providing valuable lessons for advancing U.S. interests in a new age of competition. This includes the establishment of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1961 and the founding of the congressionally funded National Endowment for Democracy in 1983 at President Ronald Reagan’s instigation. …”

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