“Distrust and verify.”

This is the startling line from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Thursday that will long resonate within national security circles of administrations of both parties.

“President [Ronald] Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of ‘trust but verify.’ When it comes to CCP, I say we must distrust and verify.”

Pompeo had just laid a wreath at the gravesite of Richard M. Nixon after touring the museum and library that honors the former president. Then, speaking to a few hundred socially distanced guests near Nixon’s boyhood home, Pompeo announced a bold new chapter in the United States’ relationship with the People’s Republic of China.

Almost 50 years after Nixon dispatched his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, on a secret mission to Beijing, Pompeo brought down the curtain on the blind hope that China would simply evolve into a western-style democracy.