Ok so I'm going to leave aside the points that should be obvious to us all, that the authors get mostly correct. Trump has greatly diminished the standing of the U.S. in the eyes of our partners and been a flaming disaster as president. Moving on.
"Biden should put an end to portraying China as an ideological threat to the American way of life and an existential threat to what is left of the tattered U.S.-led liberal international order"
These are two separate arguments and conflating them is ridiculous. I do agree that the framing of US-China competition as an ideological struggle is not going to succeed.
But to claim that China doesn't threaten the liberal international order is absurd. They're actively working to subvert and replace it as we speak. They're not even covering that up.
"China has neither the intention nor the capabilities to upend and assume leadership of this order"

This is a pretty massive claim that the authors just drop in without any evidence to support it. It's also why they're underestimating China.
"the Biden administration should use the World Trade Organization’s trade dispute mechanisms to redress its grievances whenever possible"

Surely we can agree that China has proven itself more than happy to violate the terms of their accession to the WTO?
The authors also address ending the trade war and cite losses suffered by the American economy. To write this section without acknowledging the enormous amount of theft, espionage, and protectionism (that won't be solved at the WTO) is absurd to the point of being disingenuous.
Has the trade war been poorly executed? Sure. No argument. But what's the answer for the big questions? Chinese operations in cyberspace, protectionism, bolstering its SOEs, none of these even get a real mention.
They call on Biden to "call out" Beijing for its human rights abuses but stay away from assistance to Chinese civil society groups for fear of alarming Beijing over the prospect of regime change. This is spineless.
We don't have to subvert the CCP, but they're not worried about bad press. This is not a policy position, it's cowardice. It's also advocating for taking us 10 years backward, again.
De-emphasizing great power competition and emphasizing cooperation with China on things like pandemics and climate change?
GPC is in my top 5 least-favorite acronyms, and it's a blunt object for sure. However - it has motivated change and forced conversations we needed to have.
China isn't cooperating. China is competing. China wants to replace the US security guarantee in Asia and subvert American influence anywhere it can. Dissolving the post-war system of alliances and replacing that system with spheres of influence is a clear goal.
We just had a pandemic, and we can't lose sight of the fact that China hid the problem rather than cooperate. That's the nature of the system. If China moves forward on climate change, it's because China sees it as in its national interest.
With hundreds of millions living in vulnerable coastal areas, you'd hope they would.
The original quote that drove me insane this morning was this: "stop obsessing over what the Chinese are doing to fortify their military positions in the South China Sea as long as China does not interfere with freedom of navigation"
@cdrsalamander hit this right on already, but to paraphrase him - Why don't England and France stop obsessing with what the Germans are doing in Czechoslovakia as long as Germany doesn't interfere with the rest of Europe.
China is claiming the entire South China Sea as its own, with the goal of supplanting the US in the region. I'm sure the authors would moan that "China has neither the desire nor the capacity to do so" but that's wrong.
They do desire it, and they're building the capacity to do it. At the center of that is Taiwan. Once they have built the capacity, Taiwan is beyond our help barring a full-fledged war. So forgive me if I find this argument even less than compelling.
And all that is before we get to the fact that China *is* interfering with freedom of navigation. In addition, they've repeatedly infringed on the sovereignty of coastal states.
The authors throw out "as long as" as if we can just return to 2008 and pretend China is a good faith actor again, but confidently bring them to heel if they act out. This is a miscalculation that could cost us, and our partners, everything.
The authors also diminish the importance of China's enormous military build up, saying the United States is being outplayed economically and diplomatically. That's a false dichotomy.
At the end of this, I am still struggling to understand how anyone is taking this argument seriously. It totally mischaracterizes China, from their current activities and capabilities to their explicit future goals.
It presents the common sense domestic actions and alliance reinforcement (both of which are sorely needed) as if they're inextricable from the idea that we must cooperate with and appease a rising authoritarian superpower.
In closing, maybe the authors should have read this first:

h/t @tshugart3

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These are great points but I find the argument less credible when authors are afraid to criticize China publicly.
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I’m on the same page as David. Requested to go to Afghanistan every year of active duty, never happened. Then the year my son is born I get tagged for mob to a job completely unrelated to my expertise (such as it is).
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