How my presidency would deal China

My first goal will be to restore America’s strategic advantage in the Pacific. China has increased its defense spending by 10% this year, continuing a 20-year trend. We cannot continue to allow our military readiness to atrophy while China’s strengthens. My presidency will begin with an end to defense sequestration and a restoration of the Pentagon’s budget to its appropriate level. This will allow us to neutralize China’s rapidly growing capabilities in every strategic realm, including air, sea, ground, cyber space and even outer space.

Restoring America’s strategic strength in Asia will also require reinforcing ties with allies in the region. Under my presidency, the U.S. will conduct joint freedom of navigation exercises with these nations to challenge any Chinese attempts to close off international waters or airspace. And if China continues to use military force to advance its illegitimate territorial claims, as it has in the South China Sea and elsewhere, I will not hesitate to take action. I will also promote collaboration among our allies, as America cannot and need not bear the full burden of counterbalancing China’s power.

My second goal is protecting the U.S. economy. For years, China has subsidized exports, devalued its currency, restricted imports and stolen technology on a massive scale. As president, I would respond not through aggressive retaliation, which would hurt the U.S. as much as China, but by greater commitment and firmer insistence on free markets and free trade. This means immediately moving forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements.