Opinion | Don’t Count on Economic Woes to Deter China


Nov. 28, 2023 12:54 pm ET

During his September trip to Vietnam, President Biden dismissed a reporter who asked for his thoughts on the threat the Chinese Communist Party poses to Taiwan. “I think China has a difficult economic problem right now,” Mr. Biden said. “I don’t think it’s going to cause China to invade Taiwan. And matter of fact, the opposite—it probably doesn’t have the same capacity that it had before.”

Mr. Biden’s response perhaps explains why his administration’s China policy has veered away from competition and toward accommodation. The hope is that Beijing’s economic woes will make it more conciliatory. But that assumption badly misunderstands the power-hungry nature of the Chinese Communist Party and the lessons of history.

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