February 10, 2022

‘Tough on China’ Gains Traction as Electoral Test

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: Politico

Journalist Phelim Kine

Congressional candidates have a new electoral purity test: who hates China the most.

Witness the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary race where TV medical personality MEHMET OZ (“Dr. Oz”) and hedge funder DAVID MCCORMICK are making each other’s Chinese-related business investments and past public statements a key platform plank. A similar China slugfest is unfolding in the GOP Senate primary in Missouri.

Those contests are likely bellwethers for how U.S. politicians weaponize growing U.S. public antipathy toward China as a campaign focus in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race. The strong anti-China rhetoric from some candidates, Asian American lawmakers warn, could fuel growing anti-Asian hate crimes.


“For candidates looking for something on the foreign policy front that may resonate [with voters], China's the obvious choice both because of the disproportionate percentage of Republicans who believe that China's a significant threat and because of the increase overall in a sort of [public] China consciousness,” said RICHARD FONTAINE, chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security. “It's just a sign of the times of how Americans are thinking about these things and [dislike of China] is one of the few things that people generally agree on.”

Read the full story and more from POLITICO.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as President of CNAS from 2012-19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009-12...