The Coronavirus itself is lethal. However, the aftermath has the potential to bring the world to its knees. One aspect of the virus that is rapidly coming to a head is the deterioration of international relationships. America has long sought to rebalance the negotiating table with China, and as a matter of fact, had done so just before the pandemic.
China and the United States, the two most powerful nations in the world. One a beacon of freedom and capitalism, the other a beacon of efficiency and socialism. Relationally, the two countries have struggled to find a middle ground because of the ideological differences between the two. Also, China wants to be the top dog, but the United States is the top dog. China wants to unseat the United States and reshape the global order.
The Coronavirus; which began in Wuhan, China, was not appropriately handled by Beijing. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party, not the people of China, covered up the origins, the lethality, the fact that the virus transmits from human-to-human for weeks. The result of such has led to a global pandemic and has led many U.S. Citizens to file lawsuits and hold an anti-China sentiment.
The problem, the majority of what is produced around the world, is made in China. In fact, when China initiated a lockdown, and its exports dropped, the world suffered a crater in its supply chain. One that has never happened before. To note, the United States produces so little of its own product that we couldn’t even produce paper masks en-mass.
There are a lot of tangents currently at play. U.S. manufacturing is housed in China, U.S. pharmaceuticals in housed in China, and a whole host of other productional processes are housed in the Communist Nation. This, of course, is the result of China entering the World Trade Organization under Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s. Which, by the way, it was revealed by the FBI that Bill Clinton took donations directly from the Chinese government to allow for such entrance.
However, now, the United States is faced with a decision, one that seems to have an easy answer; do we bring manufacturing home and confront China for its role in the global pandemic? The previous question, is one that could lead to a Cold War or worse.
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Bringing manufacturing home, cannot be a governmental order by the President of the United States; rather, it would be a rollback of erroneous legislation which would allow for production to be somewhat comparable in price to that which is offered by Chinese manufacturing.
However, in the way of that, is the thought that accomplishing such could very well lead to a difficult time. When the U.S. brings manufacturing back to the shore of the United States, Beijing will lose its largest importer. Therefore, it could gut their economy, and that is something that China would easily have a problem with.
The aforementioned brings us right back to where the United States and China currently are, decision time. The United States populace is angry; millions are unemployed, thousands are sick, thousands are homeless, millions of jobs no longer exist, and the people have their enemy – China. Politics did not play a role in the determining of such; rather, it was China’s own actions that have fueled the anger.
Politicians are responding to such, and the United States’ posture towards China is beginning to shift. In fact, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump is correcting “40 years of appeasement of China,” a period that includes every President since Jimmy Carter.
Echoing Pompeo, Matthew Pottinger, the second-ranking official on Trump’s National Security Council staff, made similar remarks; ‘China deserves a government more responsive to its citizens and warned that continued repression could spark a rebellion.’
However, the United States isn’t the only one making stark remarks; in fact, China has started sounding more like an adversary rather than a competitor – making unsubstantiated claims that a visiting U.S. soldier may have brought the Coronavirus to Wuhan and returning Pompeo’s insults in kind.
“If the dishonest behavior of evil politicians like Pompeo continues, ‘Make America Great Again’ could become merely a joke,” newscaster Li Zimeng said on Beijing’s main government-owned television network last week.
To help understand what is taking place, President Trump is now making a stark distinction between the people of China and the government of China;
“China is very different from the Soviet Union, but this is beginning to look like the same kind of ideological competition,” Bonnie Glaser, a China scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, told me. “Officials in the Trump administration are drawing an explicit distinction between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people, and that’s new.”
Further, Trump’s re-election campaign has tried to weaponize the issue against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, accusing him of being “soft on China” — a phrase last heard in, yes, the Cold War.
What is taking place currently is the emergence of what appears to be a new Cold War. We are in the early stages of it now, and how or if it unfolds will be determined over the next several weeks. Keep in mind, more and more in America are growing hungry and tired of the Coronavirus, so the likely outcome is going to be a collective rage.