Getting dressed this morning listening to the usual crackdown stories out of the People's Republic of China, it hit me, hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized we need something as a country that deals with China, we need a policy.
Right now I am not sure what we have. Are we calling for free speech in China? Are we pressuring Beijing on human rights violations, ones we wouldn't tolerate with any other trading partner? Are we trying to stop their insistence that we don't go it alone in China except for a handful of companies?
It's a little like Goldfinger, where we are on a laser-cutting table asking the Chinese if they want us to talk and they shoot back that they want us to die. Except this time we don't know anything about Operation Grand Slam beyond tonight's All-Star Game.
t's truly appalling that we have nothing beyond some patchwork so-called sanctions and blacklisted companies to protest free speech wrongdoings in Hong Kong. Sometimes I feel that President Xi is four or five steps ahead of a divided administration that doesn't want us to lose the Chinese market but wants to try to pressure the Chinese to be more like us in Hong Kong.
Don't they realize that Hong Kong is already lost and the battle isn't Hong Kong but over the sovereignty of Taiwan? Didn't they listen to President Xi when he called recently for complete reunification of our close ally Taiwan? Can't they recognize a Greater East Asian policy when they see one?
Right now we apparently have no contact with the PRC, I mean none -- no talk, no insistence, no warnings, nothing. This is insane. I know President Trump may have been ham-handed in his policy toward China, but one thing is certain: The first thing he told Xi is that Taiwan is off-limits. Don't even think about it.
I don't hear that kind of talk now. The only people who seem to be talking about the threat -- and it is a military threat, not a political one -- are the Japanese, basically warning us of what's to come. But we aren't even ready militarily as a deterrent.
Now these Chinese apparently do not have a storm-the-beaches plan for Taiwan. But they do have the ability to squeeze the country if they think that President Biden isn't up to protecting Taiwan with all we have, all of our resources. The Chinese took over Hong Kong in a stealth fashion. We are fighting a rear-guard war.
Now they can do the same in Taiwan. An example: They can demand that the board of directors of Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) , perhaps the most important technology company in the world today because of its gigantic foundries, be jammed with Communist Party members. They can insist that the government be more pro-Chinese or else, without knowing what "else" can be.
The potential that this can and will happen unless we warn the Chinese not to even date mess with Taiwan is appalling. But we are still hung up on the lost cause of Hong Kong.
What should the White House do today? Come out strongly, Biden to Xi, explaining that the flyovers have to stop, that the attempts to choke Taiwan aren't going to be allowed, that this isn't about commerce, it isn't about a new Iron Curtain, it isn't even about human rights. It's about defense of an ally, a trusted ally whom we must stand by even as reunification is the No. 1 agenda item for Xi and his party.
Is that a policy? Yes, at least it's a start. But if it isn't acted upon then there truly will be a domino effect the likes of which didn't happen in Asia but did in Eastern Europe.
So, Mr. President, stop directing your efforts toward warning businesses in Hong Kong. Block Chinese IPOs that don't follow our principles. And call Xi and lay down the law: tell him you will not be able to sell exports here if this comes up. Otherwise, Goldfinger wins in this one and this is bigger than Fort Knox for certain .