Xi Jinping’s long-lasting, draconian zero-Covid policy has resulted in the largest protests in China in more than 30 years. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are testing the government’s “perfect” police state by actively calling for an end to Xi’s regime, breaking through China’s firewall to spread protest messaging, and calling into question the very legitimacy of the empire Xi has built. This instability comes in the face of Xi Jinping’s tightening grip on state power; the recent Chinese Military Power Report showcases a military capable of taking Taiwan, and Xi’s ideological push shows that he is willing. In just a few years, the U.S. may very well be wishing that it had taken more risks in its approach to defending Taiwan, to increasing democratic messaging in China, and to hardline policy on Xi’s regime… how will we ensure today that these future mistakes are not made?
Our guest this week is Dan Blumenthal, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, Blumenthal served as senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia at the US Department of Defense. He also served as a commissioner on the congressionally mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission from 2006-2007, and was vice chairman of the commission in 2007. He also served on the Academic Advisory board of the congressional US-China Working Group. He is the author of The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State.