Huntsman played his China card in his New Hampshire “3rd place victory speech”, but it wasn’t the one many people expected. The hand he will be playing is that he, the former US ambassador to the PRC, is America’s best bet for out-competing the Chinese.
“I saw this nation from 10,000 miles away, and I saw the nation with the greatest people on earth.”
He said that from his vantage point in China that when he looked at the Unites States he saw stability, rule of law, private property, great universities, the oldest functioning constitution, and the most innovative & entrepreneurialism of any nation. He sounds like a successful Chinese entrepreneur lining up for a green card – of course they can’t vote.
When Huntsman says, “America First” he means “and not China”.
His message is that he’s seen what can happen if the global status quo doesn’t shift – and that this is scary to the US. Moreover, he’s in a position to do something about it. He has seen the enemy – or at least the rival – and it’s China.
This is the new expat message. In the 2000s, China pros said “I can open that China opportunity”. In the coming decade, their line will be, “I can help you keep the Chinese at bay.”
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