February 10, 2022

‘Tough on China’ Gains Traction as Electoral Test

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 CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...