Trump's team plays China card before elections

Trump's team plays China card before elections

Recently, the US has ramped up its efforts to suppress China. In particular, some senior officials have torn off their disguise and focused on bottomless attacks at China. In less than a month since June 24, US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo successively delivered harsh remarks on China, Global Times writes in the article US ‘Gang of Four’ desires to lead anti-China insanity.

Pompeo's remarks titled "Communist China and the Free World's Future" summarized the US policy toward China from a cold war lens, which was interpreted by many as a new "Iron Curtain Speech." The other three accused China from the perspectives of ideology, espionage and economic activities.

As early as October 2018, US Vice President Mike Pence's speech on China policy was considered to be the prelude to a new cold war between the two nations. Over the past three years, Trump has shown to China and the world through his concrete actions that he has no interest in improving and stabilizing Sino-US relations. 

This was not the first time Pompeo and others attacked the Chinese government and the Communist Party of China. But this time it was among the most devilishly calculated, fierce and ill-influenced ones ever done by these four Trump mouthpieces. Why did this anti-China "Gang of Four" spare no efforts in attacking China? 

The primary reason is to meet Trump's need for re-election. The COVID-19 outbreak in the US has become the biggest Black Swan event in this election year. The lack of US preparation for it has led to economic recession, soaring unemployment, and huge sufferings for people. Trump's inaction to the pandemic has made him a target of public criticism. 

Given that the virus is still spreading and short-term prospects for economic recovery are slim, the Trump camp has turned its spearhead to China. They believe that by playing the China card, they can divert domestic conflict and attention. They think this will help gather support from core voters to save the flagging election. In this regard, the anti-China "Gang of Four" is faithfully implementing Trump's election plan. As the Election Day approaches, their attacks on China will become more frequent.

The political manipulation of anti-China "Gang of Four" also represents powerful conservative voices in the US. Such forces regard China as the most terrible opponent threatening the US global leadership. They attribute all problems to the challenges brought about by China's rise, and argue that past emphasis on cooperative engagement has failed. Therefore, a new policy of containment and suppression is necessary to engage in an ideological confrontation with China as soon as possible.

Over the past four decades, Sino-US relations have weathered many storms but gone through them smoothly. The fundamental reason for this is due to the fact that both countries have realized differences in ideology and cultural values should not be obstacles to bilateral exchanges and cooperation. 

The US' "failure of engagement with China" assertion is untenable in either history or reality. It is a naked narrative fabricated by some politicians to instigate a Sino-US confrontation to serve their narrow ends. Former president George W. Bush called China's rise a "good opportunity" rather than a threat. Barack Obama welcomed the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China. Are all these statements about China a complete lie? If so, it is not the American politicians who should lodge their dissatisfaction and protest, but China.

Obviously, the purpose to unleash this dangerous spin by the anti-China "Gang of Four" is to completely mess up Sino-US relations. It desires to lead bilateral relations to a new cold war. People of insight in the US should actively and promptly speak up to contain this anti-China countercurrent and jointly safeguard the long-term development of bilateral relations from greater damage. After all, a wrecked Sino-US relationship is not in line with US national interests. It is time to put things right.

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