Former Bush leader reveals changes in China in recent years

 May 30, 2023

A security leader from the administration of George W. Bush shared concerns over China's changing policies in recent years.

The discussion occurred during an event between U.S. and Chinese officials to discuss ways to improve ties after growing tensions in recent months.

The comments

“The China we faced was a China that wanted a benign international environment so they could focus on their own domestic development,” national security adviser for former President George W. Bush, Stephen Hadley, said.

“It was a China that did not want to overturn the international system but wanted to be a part of that system and made that very clear. It was a China that wanted a constructive relationship with the United States. And we tried to build that,” he added.

The book

Hadley released his book Hand-Off: The Foreign Policy George W. Bush Passed to Barack Obama in February, "offering insight and perspective on declassified transition memos across a range of geopolitical issues facing the incoming Obama administration."

His talk included "key issues such as great power competition with China, nuclear proliferation in North Korea, and U.S. diplomatic strategy in Asia."

The conversation comes as the Biden administration continues to struggle with Chinese relations despite many connections with President Joe Biden as he entered the White House.

Many concerns

Much of the recent concern has focused on Taiwan. The island claims to exist as a democratic, independent state that the U.S. supports.

China claims the island belongs to the mainland and should be under the government's communist rule.

Other concerns include China's recent spy balloon floating over the U.S. and its growing relations with Russia despite sanctions against the Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine.

The latest conversation helps to highlight some of the important concerns but it's unclear whether anyone in the Biden administration will put the good advice to use.

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