US Republican politician says battle with China a 'clash of civilizations'

Newt Gringrich said at a conference this week that China has made three key victories that threaten global safety

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Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gringrich. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gringrich. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said at a conference this week that the ongoing U.S.-China trade war is part of a larger, long-term “clash of civilizations.”

Gringrich said the battle is not between two countries but between the belief in the right to freedom and the belief in authoritarianism and Chinese exceptionalism, according to the Liberty Times.

The Republican politician attended a roundtable discussion this week at a conference in Washington D.C. on countermeasures to current threats from China. His argument echoed a controversial hypothesis by Republican academic Samuel Huntington that suggested cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world.

Gringrich said the U.S. and China not only bear different attitudes towards trade, but also military affairs and war tactics. Most importantly, he said, they hold fundamentally different ideologies.

The U.S.’s current problem is that it has not yet woken up to reality, said Gringrich, and is not clear on the scope of the problem. He blamed current news media and “leftist politics” for the U.S.’s “lack of vigilance.”

Gringrich said that China has made three key victories that threaten global safety: its effective control over the South China Seas, the “Chinese empire” that now stretches across Asia, African and Latin America, and its reach into the global 5G mobile network market.

China’s dominance in the 5G market may have become an irreversible trend, Gringrich said.