US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said on Tuesday that it is time to recognize that a dialogue will not convince China to change its behavior and demonstrations of strength are safer than weaknesses.
"The time has come to accept that dialogue and agreements will not persuade or compel The People's Republic of China to change. There is nothing to be gained by looking the other way or turning the other cheek. We have been doing it for too long," O'Brien said at the Stewart Security Summit.
Describing China as an existential and generational challenge, he praised US President Donald Trump for standing up to the Chinese, protecting "the American people, the American homeland and our way of life."
"We must promote American prosperity, practice peace through strength and advance American influence in the world. Under President Trump's leadership that's exactly what we have done," O'Brien said.
He expressed certainty that an approach based on strength and efforts to protect national interests will not lead to a confrontation with China, unlike a path of weakness which, according to O'Brien, will only invite "further encroachments on our national interest potentially leading to conflict."
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