China Has Been Waging 'Cold War' Against U.S. for Years: Ex-NSA

A former security official will call out the Chinese Communist Party on Tuesday evening for waging a years-long "cold war" against the United States.

Politico reportedly obtained an excerpt of testimony on behalf of Matthew Pottinger, former deputy national security advisor under President Donald Trump. He and three other witnesses will sit in front of the House Select Committee on China as officials seek answers related to spy balloons shot down over North America, in addition to rising tensions of China potentially aiding Russia in its war against Ukraine.

"Some policy pundits tend to see the [Chinese Communist Party] as a romantic partner who has been wronged, and who needs to be soothed and reassured and treated to 'trust-building' measures as a way of stabilizing the relationship," Pottinger plans to say tonight, per the excerpt. "This is inaccurate. The CCP should be thought of as a hungry shark that will keep eating until its nose bumps into a metal barrier. Sharks aren't responsive to mood music.

"But nor do they take it personally when they see divers building a shark cage. For them, it's just business. It's what they do. The more resolutely and unapologetically we take steps to defend our national security, the more that boundaries will be respected and the more stable the balance of power is likely to be...It does us little good to repeat again and again that we aren't seeking a new Cold War when the CCP has been stealthily waging one against us for years."

Matthew Pottinger
Above, former National Security Council member Matthew Pottinger testifies during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on July 21, 2022. Pottinger will be one of four witnesses to speak to the House Select Committee on China regarding recent aerial objects shot down over the U.S., as well as heightened tensions in the Russia-Ukraine war. Oliver Contreras/Getty

Pottinger is currently a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution after serving for four years in the Trump administration, including as national security adviser from 2019 to 2021. He previously instituted a domestic shift in China policy as senior director for Asia.

The House Select Committee on China, which includes 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats, will oversee the 7 p.m. hearing.

The other three witnesses to testify include retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former national security adviser to Trump, H.R. McMaster; Chinese human rights advocate Tong Yi; and Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Republican Representative Mike Gallagher, chair of the committee, told CBS News's Face the Nation on Sunday that the panel will highlight CCP threats to U.S. interests.

"I think the Chinese spy balloon incident illustrates perfectly that this isn't just an over-there problem," Gallagher said. "This isn't just a matter of some obscure territorial claim in the East China Sea. This is a right-here-at-home problem."

On February 13, Gallagher accused the Biden administration and the Pentagon of not being forthcoming, calling the U.S. response to the balloon and other unidentified flying objects "one of the most staggering intelligence failures since 9/11."

"We need answers from the Pentagon. We need answers from the President himself," Gallagher said in a statement. "There are times to err on the side of secrecy in national security operations. But when our fighter pilots are shooting down presumably hostile aerial objects all across America, it's long past time for transparency."

A joint statement was released by Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, the committee's ranking member when the first spy balloon was detected in early February.

"The Chinese Communist Party should not have on-demand access to American airspace," the statement read. "Not only is this a violation of American sovereignty, coming only days before Secretary Blinken's trip to the PRC, but it also makes clear that the CCP's recent diplomatic overtures do not represent a substantive change in policy.

"Indeed, this incident demonstrates that the CCP threat is not confined to distant shores—it is here at home and we must act to counter this threat."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently abroad in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as part of his first trip to Central Asia as secretary. He canceled a previously scheduled trip to Beijing following the discovery of the spy balloon and other high-altitude flying objects.

"We have said over and over to Central Asian partners and throughout the Indo-Pacific and around the world that we are not asking for countries to choose between us and Russia or us and China," Assistant Secretary for South Central Asia Don Lu told the press on February 24.

"Instead, we are interested in showing that the United States has something to offer, that we can be a reliable partner...We have something to offer in terms of engagement economically, but we also have something to offer in terms of the values that we bring to the table."

Rather than apologize, one Chinese diplomat said in a statement that the U.S. "not take any further actions that may undermine China's interests or escalate or expand tensions."

New polling from Newsweek shows that nearly half of American respondents believe that the U.S. government can't be trusted to tell the truth about the unidentified flying objects. Most Americans in the same poll were glad that the U.S. destroyed aerial objects.

Newsweek reached out to Matthew Pottinger for comment.