In a recent American Interest article penned by an anonymous official of the Japanese government titled “ The Virtues of a Confrontational China Strategy,” the official compares U.S. approaches to China under Obama and Trump administrations. The core argument is that there is much to criticize about the “Trump administration’s confrontational approach to China, but on balance finds it preferable in almost every way to Obama’s engagement and accommodation.”

Many countries share a similar sentiment concerning the harder line vis-a-vis China as there is deepening anti-Chinese sentiment globally.

This sentiment is grounded in China’s assertive behavior in the East and South China Seas, its bellicosity toward Taiwan and other neighbors, rapid military buildup, economic coercion, weaponization of history, its turn toward hard authoritarianism, and now its initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic.