Another step necessary to be successful in this New War is to build a coalition to counter the Chinese government’s growing global influence. Strengthening North American supply chains will bolster advanced manufacturing in the Western Hemisphere, providing an alternative to China. Immediately ratifying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to bring NAFTA into the 21st century would provide a framework for attracting advanced manufacturing and technology production to places like San Antonio, Toronto and Monterrey — not Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing. We should take similar steps to strengthen economic ties and global supply chains with other countries in the region, such as Vietnam, which are wary of an aggressive China.
Old battle lines in this New War will still exist, like Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights abuses, but the new line of conflict is advanced technology — artificial intelligence, 5G, the Internet of Things and aerospace engineering. China was clear about its intentions back in 2015 when it released the Made in China plan. By the year 2049, when China celebrates 100 years of communist rule, it is planning to be the world’s leader in advanced technology and manufacturing.
The United States and our allies will not prevent countries from doing business with Chinese companies like Huawei on the basis of security concerns alone, though there are a number of them. We must provide an alternative service or product that is better, more secure and less costly. We need to respond by out-innovating our opponent. Close cooperation between the government and the private sector will be essential to win this competition.