China Task Force [CFT] Act: The US Goes Bonkers Over China
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 05 Nov , 2020


The United States strategic expectation that China will one day adapt to the enshrined values of the western world order –freedom, democracy, and human rights and support a ‘universal civilization’ founded on western values has fallen flat on its face. Given China’s spectacular rise as a global economic power and regional military power, the US has gone far beyond the point of no return to the idea of – ‘peaceful coexistence’ since the financial crisis that erupted in 2008. This crisis brought forth the hidden pot holes in the capitalist ideology subscribed by the west with regard to politics, economy, and also society. As the west gasped for breath, China was emboldened and launched massive high-decibel infrastructure projects such as the Belt and Road initiatives [BRI] having permanent irreversible geo-political consequences – a death knell.

The outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 and China’s early success in dealing with the crisis within a party-state led model was perhaps one of the last few nails left on the western coffin. The success of an alternative model outside that of the western one is an existential threat. As in the past, west remains brutal to any emerging threat to its global leadership position. China having immensely benefitted from the west led world order in preceding decades has done its best to put forward a narrative to calm the western political anxieties about its rise – New Type of Great Power Relationship. However, none of this effort has proved worthwhile and has instead intensified the contradiction between China and the west led world order. According to Chairman Mao, it is ‘contradiction’ that remains at the root of armed conflict and hence it is very likely that the current course of actions initiated by the US to arrest the rise of China is on its way to be only resolved by the use of organized violence – war. According Ashley Tellis, containment of China is a near impossibility given that its rise was not an internal (national) phenomenon as was the case with the rise of western European powers in 16-17th century. China has risen in an interdependent world order, and containing China means containing yourself. While the hawks in the US attempt to delineate themselves from China at an exorbitant cost, the Chinese wolfs are attempting deeper ties with the US at the sub-national level by incurring cost [investments][1].

With such limitations, the US political elites have seen it wise to single out the primary causal threat [generational] factor – the Communist Party of China (CCP) – and impose heavy punishments upon it. The China Task Force Act is a comprehensive legislative blueprint that includes 137 bills and other provisions that were recommended by the China Task Force. Two-thirds of these measures have bipartisan support and more than a third have already passed the House or the Senate.According to Chairman McCaul, “We can no longer stand back as the CCP ramps up their military aggression, weaponises the supply chain, and brazenly attacks the democratic values that underpin American society and global prosperity. For more than forty years, we have tried to bring them into the family of nations as a responsible partner and only recently have we begun to change course and take on the CCP’s hostile ideology and actions”[2].

Moving Beyond the Trade War

According to the ‘‘China Task Force Act’’ or the ‘‘CTF Act’, the US Congress finds that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) relationship with its people (individuals) limits their freedom and rights. The primary role of the individuals is to serve the CCP. This relationship between the state and its citizens stands in contradiction to the American principle which is not built to grant rights, but to protect rights inalienable to every human being.

Through a system of government called ‘‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’’ the CCP establishes absolute totalitarianism and establishes leadership of the Party in the government, the military, the people, and academia. The CCP hence seeks to eliminate perceived threats to the security of its regime from both within and without. The US congress perceives the Chinese national security concept to be limited – ‘‘absence of internationalor domestic threats to the state’s power’’. In other words national security is nothing but regime security through the elimination of all threats foreign and domestic. This according to the US Congress requires external aggression. Furthermore, the CCP considers constitutional democracy, internationally recognized human rights, free markets, independent journalism, and internal dissent to be security threats. The stated strategic objective in this regard for the US Congress is – “….as in the United States’ prior great power competition with a communist superpower, the United States’ goal should be the end of the CCP’s monopoly on power, rather than indefinite coexistence with a fundamentally hostile communist state”. Moving beyond the limitations of trade war, the CCP has risen to become the United States’ prevailing economic and national security threat of this generation.

China on the other hand has come to understand the exclusive monopoly of state power in the hands of the CCP as the only choice left before it to successfully execute the arduous task of national modernization and rejuvenation. According to Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the relationship between the CCP and the people of China is like that of a fish and water. In other words this relationship is less guarded by a constitutional arrangement [contract]and instead finds its genesis in an organic evolution of Chinese political and cultural history. It is indeed impossible for foreign analysts to sympathize with the political culture prevailing in China without an inward bias for it to ape the western concepts of modern political thought. The CCP has paid much scholarly attention to the drawbacks of a state-party led political system and is constantly identifying and rectifying them. A primary focus of attention in this regard has been the Soviet experiment and its experience in not being able to execute modernization based on Marxist ideology. A learning that continues to this day, the CCP has come to conclude that the Soviet experiment failed for it attempted political transition before completing economic power distribution successfully. Corruption and the unchecked concentration of political power in the hands of few was the other major cause for the break-up of Soviet Union.

To cut the long story short, Sino-US relationship has now entered a period of – contradiction. Through the CFT Act, the US Congress attempts to target CCP’s monopoly of power which is exactly what the CCP wants to preserve. This situation is likely to intensify in near-future with the use of force the only option left to resolve the contradiction. A war is highly likely between the US and China whether it is kinetic or non-kinetic only time will tell. In his remarks on the eve of 70th anniversary of the Korean War, President Xi Jinping has spared no efforts in making Chinese view clear – China needed to accelerate its military modernization to build a world-class military, and to ensure that the ruling Communist Party maintained “absolute leadership” over the military[3]. Many Chinese analysts have interpreted President Xi’s remark as an open acceptance of the upcoming military conflict.

In way of neutralizing the QUAD meeting between India, Japan, Australia, and the US in Tokyo (06 October), China has reacted in class with Wang Yi [Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Singapore] teaming up with Yang Jiechi (Director of China’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission) [Sri Lanka, the UAE, Algeria and Serbia] who jointly embarked on simultaneous foreign tours that demonstrated the superior world view of “right-makes-might” diplomacy[4]. The summary of this multi-national visits is as following [Matthew Ehret, 2020];

Malaysia $10 billion worth 640 Km East Coast Rail link to be completed by 2026 & Two Major Industrial Parks
Indonesia Indonesia is willing to sign cooperation documents on the Belt and Road Initiative and Global Maritime Fulcrum&put in place currency swap arrangements and settlements in local currency.
Cambodia Free Trade Agreement, The New Land-Sea Trade Corridor, Lancang-Mekong Cooperation
Philippines Build Build Build Program
Thailand Building of the 252 km Bangkok-Korat high speed rail line

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s South East Asian Visit


Sri Lanka

$90 million grant for medical resources, water supplies and education&$989 million loan was delivered for the completion of a massive expressway stretching from Central Sri Lanka’s tea growing district to the Port of Hambanota.

United Arab Emirates

Under the strategic guidance of President Xi and the Abu Dhabi crown prince, China will enrich the connotation of its comprehensive strategic partnership with UAE, cement the political trust and support, promote alignment of development strategies, and advance high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road.
Algeria New Economic Revival Plan


Full support to the Belgrade-Budapest railway, and other long term investments centered on transport, energy and soft infrastructure, including the expansion of the Chinese-owned Smederevo Steel Plant

Yang Jiechi’s Four-Legged Tour

Implications for India: Wind on the Sail

Indian foreign policy guided by its principle of non-alignment has so far allowed it to seek friendly relationships with all. It shares bitter experiences with both US and China in the past. In recent years, China’s rise has come to be understood as having direct consequences to India’s national security given the geographical proximity and this along with many other factors has forced it to deepen its security relationship with the US.

The upcoming tensions in the US-China relations can act as a boon or bane for India and it will require astute strategic calculation to ensure the overall emerging situation remains in India’s long-term interest. As the situation develops, it is likely that opportunities will present themselves with a certain degree of consistency and the extent of India’s readiness to grab such opportunities will determine how well India has exploited the clash between the Western and Chinese civilization. India in this regard will need to make a choice pertaining to grand strategy. It is quite clear that the Indian Civilization is culturally unique, but identified as a ‘swing civilization’ along with Japan and Russia by Samuel Huntington in his seminal work titled – The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. India has adapted much of the western political thought, but maintains civilizational ethos which is near-indistinguishable with that of the Sinic [Chinese] civilization. Please note late President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam’s speech delivered to the European Parliament (April, 2007)on how to ensure world peace – Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character, When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony at home, When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation, When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world. Dr. Abdul Kalam attributed this ancient wisdom on political thought to India; however Chinese historians trace this ancient wisdom to Confucius (Kong Zi)[5]. In the same address, Dr Abdul Kalam stated, “Oh, European Union, let your mission spread everywhere like the air we breathe”. Both India and China do not subscribe to the theory of “Clash of Civilization” and rather tilt towards the notion of “Civilizational Cooperation”.At the second Meeting of China-India High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges in Beijing on 12 August, 2019 Foreign Minster Wang Yi stated “It requires to adhere to inclusiveness, try to resolve differences through building common ground, and oppose “Clash of Civilizations”, so as to write the new chapter of mutual respect and harmonious coexistence between the two major civilizations together”[6]. While the US [western] strategy is to insist on identity [A [u.s] +B+C+D = 4A’s], both India and China adhere to harmony, unity, and co-existence [A+B+C+D = Z {a+b+c+d}].

Recent developments within the US domestic politics suggest a collapse in confidence, trust and respect among Americans for their own democratic process and institutions of government[7]. This internal turmoil is understood as ‘political anxiety’ by Chinese scholars. Furthermore, China in its own interpretation describes its own in-vogue strategic behavior as “confident” as against “aggressive”. This political anxiety has resulted in US walking away from well-established security agreements such as the INF Treaty; imminent New START nuclear arms control accord and international institutions such as the World Health Organization and UN Human Rights Council. According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (06 October, Tokyo), “this is not a rivalry between the United States and China. This is for the soul of the world….if the free world doesn’t change Communist China, Communist China will change us[8].”

For India, the wind on its sail through enhanced political and military cooperation with US and US-China clash is of temporary but immense strategic value in comparison to its long-term strategic vision that seeks ‘harmony’ and ‘universalism’ as against ‘hegemony’ in international relations.


[1]Shichen Wang (2016), “China’s People-to-people Diplomacy and Its Importance to China-EU Relations: A Historical Institutionalism Perspective” JCIR: VOL. 4, No. 1.

[2]China Task Force, Chairman Michael McCaul, October 20, 2020 – House Foreign Affairs Committee.

[3]Sarah Zheng, Laura Zhou, and William Zheng (2020), “Xi Jinping Says China Determined to Defeat Invaders in Korean War Anniversary Speech” South China Morning Post, 23 October, 2020.

[4]Matthew Ehret (2020), “Win-Win vs Lose-Lose: The Time Has Come for the World to Choose” Strategic Culture Foundation, 21 October. Available at [Accessed on 26 October, 2020].

[5]Xiao Jiefu and Li Jinquan (2008), An Outline: History of Chinese Philosophy, Foreign Languages Press: Beijing.

[6]The Second Meeting of China-India High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges Held in Beijing Wang Yi and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India, Co-chair the Meeting, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of India, 12 August, 2019. Available at [Accessed on 22 October, 2020].

[7]Editorial (2020), “How Russophobia Wrought Death of the United States” Strategic Culture Foundation, 23 October, 2020. [Accessed on 26 October, 2020]

[8]“Secretary Michael R. Pompeo with Yoshio Arima of NHK” US Department of State, 06 October, 2020. Available at [Accessed on 26 October, 2020].

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Dr Rajasimman Sundaram

teaches history, politics, and culture and a member of the Institute of BRICS Studies and College of Multi-Languages at Sichuan International Studies University [四川外国语大学] (The People’s Republic of China)". 

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One thought on “China Task Force [CFT] Act: The US Goes Bonkers Over China

  1. As always this CCP stooge spreading propaganda ,., He must know that chinese economy and its influence is rapidly declining despite fake chinese propaganda about economic growth .Chinese millitary cannot fight even with vietnam or Taiwan ,forget US , India or Japan .

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