The Trump administration will try to cast China as another Russian-type “bogeyman” as part of a major effort being planned against the country, according to a report.
The campaign will launch in the next few weeks in light of heightened cybersecurity and trade tensions between the U.S. and China, as well as concerns regarding election meddling, Axios reported Sunday.
“We’re not just going to let Russia be the bogeyman,” a White House official told the news outlet. “It’s Russia and China.”
The U.S. will combine rhetoric and substantive action as it works to lay out data highlighting China’s adversarial posture toward American public and private sectors, an administration aide told Axios.
The push will reportedly be “administration-wide, led by the White House’s National Security Council, in conjunction with the Treasury, Commerce, and Defense Departments. It is unclear what role President Trump will have in the effort given his cordial public relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The two countries are engaged in an escalating trade dispute, each imposing retaliatory tariffs on one another. Additional U.S. import duties are set to be levied against $200 billion worth of Chinese products Monday, on top of the $50 billion in tariffs already in place.