Source: Global Times
Photo taken on March 27 shows the White House in Washington DC. Photo: Xinhua
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US will surely exceed 5 million on Sunday. Meanwhile, the death toll has passed 160,000. It is estimated that the figure may hit 300,000 by the end of this year. It is just appalling that the US, the world’s most developed country, has been hit like this by the coronavirus pandemic.
What is more startling is that the US government has almost given up the anti-virus fight, as there are almost no new measures adopted by the Trump administration. Comparatively, the number of measures this administration has adopted to suppress China far exceeds anti-virus measures.
Does Washington believe China is a more pressing challenge than the virus? Perhaps it does believe China is the US’ No.1 challenge, but China is far from a “pressing” one. After all, it is the virus that truly threatens the health and lives of Americans every day, while the “China threat” is just imaginary, and the US has multiple means to cope with such a “threat.”
It makes no sense that Washington is paying unwarranted attention to the “China threat” while neglecting the virus. This shows the abnormality of the behavior of the current US administration. Even purely from the aspect of the US’ national interest and regardless of China’s feelings, the administration should not have behaved in such a way as to deprioritize the safety of its citizens.
Therefore, many Chinese people believe that Washington’s China policy is full of bravado that has become overly entangled with serving the election. The interest of the Trump team’s is so focused on the president’s re-election that it has become inextricably intertwined with the country’s foreign policy and is dominating all other discourse.
This makes more and more Chinese people puzzled: Should China launch counter measures one by one against the US election-driven sanctions? Will the US really turn its menace into real actions and how far will the US go?
The latest sanction targets Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other Hong Kong government officials as well as Chinese central government officials including Luo Huining, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, and Xia Baolong, head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council. This sanction is really more symbolic than anything else. Mainland officials no doubt don’t have assets in the US. One month ago, Lam said she has no assets in the US. She even said after the US announced the sanctions against her that she will cancel her US visa.
But the sanction will exert a very negative impact. China does face a dilemma: Should it play with the US by carrying out countermeasures amid the US’ present battles? If it does not, the US may become puffed up with arrogance.
Given that the US is driven mad by the election, we suggest China play some tricks with it. We don’t have to launch reciprocal actions each time, but it can work on exposing the US’ absurd misconduct.
The US plays the China card too rashly and excessively, which obviously aims at heightening China-US tensions for the sake of winning the election. There are two purposes of countermeasures – one is warning of the consequences of doing so and the other is safeguarding morality.
We must take countermeasures that serve the first purpose while we need to make a fair judgment of the situation to take countermeasures for the second purpose. When one’s behavior is just absurd in nature, we may win more international support by mocking it than opposing it.
The US presidential elections have three months to go. The Trump government is expected to play more tactics to make bigger waves during this period.
It is important that China is not led by the nose by Washington while maintaining its deterrence that it will firmly hit back against any real provocations. The Trump government has acted more and more recklessly as it canvasses votes by hurting China’s interests. It would be terrible if this becomes an effective mode of US domestic political infighting. China should think tactically to break the ropes of this US political business.
China should leave some of the US’ provocations be, while launching countermeasures against others. In the next few months, China should make the world, especially the Americans, feel the absurdity of playing the China card in election campaigns which is turning US national interests into partisan gains.