The growing and increasingly dangerous antagonism between the U.S. and China

The growing and increasingly dangerous antagonism between the U.S. and China

Cary Huang writes:

The harshness of the language used and antagonism shown in the war of words between China and the US over the coronavirus outbreak is reminiscent of the Cold War confrontation in the 1950s and 1960s, when Pacific powers were engaged in war in the Korean peninsula and Vietnam. Indeed, the finger-pointing and name-calling has escalated steadily as the pandemic continues to ravage the world.

US President Donald Trump and his top lieutenant, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have both publicly floated the dramatic theory that the virus originated from a Chinese lab and indicated Washington was seeking damages from Beijing.

The accusations come as the voices of a global chorus of “China owes us” are getting louder, with a growing number of governments and organisations seeking to hold Beijing accountable and demand compensation.

Such rhetoric has also dominated the media in both countries. For instance, The Wall Street Journal ran recent commentaries urging a more confrontational stance towards Beijing. In reaction, Beijing mobilised its party-run propaganda machine to air and publish attacks on the US, singling out Pompeo as the particular target for scathing criticism, calling him an “enemy of humankind”, a “political virus” and “rumourmonger” with a “dark mind”.

The salvoes of such a deeply personal nature against America’s top diplomat – unseen since Nixon’s ice-breaking visit to China in 1972 – bring to mind the combative Chinese diplomacy of Mao’s era. It also indicates the Communist leadership’s readiness for a showdown with Washington. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.