Beijing – tariffs and trade wars. Spying and Huawei. Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Now a spiraling epidemic has become the latest and potentially most divisive issue, separating the United States and China. For China’s sharp critics of the Trump administration, a global panic over the new coronavirus has prompted a new inauguration to condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s rule, which they say cannot be believed to convey what it knows or properly handle the wrath.
However, if the hard-liners were expecting a cohesive, anti-China message from Washington, their goal was eroded by their leaders. President Trump has publicly praised President Xi Jinping’s handling of the crisis and called for greater trade relations, including the sale of jet engines in China.
“Look,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday, “I know this: President Shi loves the Chinese people, he loves his country, and he is doing very well in a very, very difficult situation.”
It has become a key staple of the Trump administration: sending a mixed message that reflects a well-coped-bad-cop strategy, a genuine internal disagreement with the policy, or simply a presidential achievement. But overall, the most hawkish voice about China dominated the conversation and called for a series of challenges against Beijing – the trade war with Washington, the protests in Hong Kong, and now the battle to contain the Coronavirus.
Mr Trump’s negotiating remarks this week could be an attempt to reduce tensions and keep the US economy and stock market from falling as US elections re-election. This approach is supported by a Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin is led by a trade-backed group that supports close ties between the world’s two largest economies.
Whether it is due to rigorous liner persistence, competitive messages or ambiguity expressed by Beijing’s policy, the US and China’s relations have become so narrow and unreliable that even a concerted effort is needed to address the world to overcome doubts that the health crisis has both had its roots. Could not
China’s Secretary of State’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the administration’s most vocal critic of the administration on Tuesday, took the country to its failure to be open and transparent when the coronavirus struck, saying, “It took us a long time to bring medical experts home. We wish it could have happened faster. “
China’s millennials have secretly said they see the virus as weakening the legitimacy of the party and further alienating the two countries.
“You’re starting to get back decades of diplomatic relations,” said Carl Minzner, a professor of Chinese law and politics at Fordham University. He said the growing friction has its own constant logic that is pulling both countries back. “
Within days new flash points emerged. On Wednesday, China announced that it was What was said to be the expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters was retaliation for the title of an opinion article. The US State Department has announced that they will consider China’s major state-owned media companies as weapons of the Chinese government. All three journalists worked on issues that were considered sensitive to Chinese officials.
The coronavirus pandemic coincides with Washington’s recent aggressive move that has left many Chinese officials shocked at what they see as an attempt to weaken the Communist Party’s leadership.
Among them were the Chinese agencies involved in the criminal case filed against Chinese military personnel on the 25th Equifax hacking and attempts by the Chinese agencies to hold hands with Harvard University and Boston University.
The United States has also filed a complaint against it Cheating against HuaweiThe telecommunications company’s equipment, Washington officials have repeatedly warned, could be used by the Chinese government for a worldwide effort.
Most Trump administration officials have taken the Coronavirus epidemic to further their argument that the United States needs a more radical break with China.
Mr Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said it was “a wake-up call” for not relying on Chinese manufacturing of drugs and other medical supplies. The Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, says the public health crisis could even return manufacturing jobs to the United States.
Allies in the Congress administration and even some officials are speaking privately Dismissed by scientists – The refrigerator theory dismissed by scientists reiterated that Wuhan’s wholesale food market is not, Chinese laboratories could possibly be the true source of the epidemic, and Beijing said it started earlier.
Officials have firmly claimed that at least in time, China was exposed to the fact that the epidemic began sooner than later and was soon engulfed.
Officials in China see this national discourse and action as evidence of the rise of racism and even racism in China. They also accused the United States of withdrawing diplomats from Wuhan’s consulate and the cause of international terror when citizens were removed.
Although other countries have followed suit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has accused Washington of setting a bad example.
“This is a political decision of final analysis,” said Xia Qinggu, associate dean of Peking University’s School of International Relations.
“It’s time for international cooperation,” he said, “but these people just try to sow hatred, try to divide people for their own political purposes.” “
There were signs of some cooperation during the crisis. The US State Department says it has supplied 3 tons of subsidized medical supplies to China and announced it is ready to pay $ 1 million to China and other countries. And Beijing has never completely abandoned anti-American vitriol in its favor.
“Unlike the Hong Kong protests or the trade war, the Chinese government did not blame the United States for the ongoing crisis, and even began commenting online to label the virus as a US-made biological weapon.” Jessica Chen Weiss, A professor of government at Cornell University.
From the beginning, the Trump administration has split into a pro-business group that supports strong business ties with China, and a national security team that promotes the idea of ”decoupling” the two economies.
Despite launching a vicious trade war with China, Mr Trump was in favor of a trade group led by Mr Munuchin.
Senior officials who promote aggressive policies regularly criticize trade supporters in private. They have accused Mr Munuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, of trying to prevent the pressure on Chinese officials from imposing sanctions on Muslims for mass incarceration. They also say that business support officials are very keen to allow American companies to sell components to Chinese companies, especially in the high-tech sector.
As the two countries reached a trade war in December, the Trump administration saw the opening of the Chinese administration’s stringent measures and policies, which were previously criticized by Mr Mnuchin and his allies for threatening the possibility of trade talks.
Mr Pompeo also made harsh remarks on the dangers posed by China. He told the National Governors’ Association on February 7 that China was seeking an unpublished and secretive influence from the state capital throughout the Community School Board.
He followed this up with another speech at the Munich Security Conference This past weekend announced that “the West is winning.” While traveling to Europe, Central Asia and Africa this month, Pompeo called on the government to beware of China.
His Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi Munich, responded that Westerners “had to renounce the subconscious belief in the superiority of its civilization and abandon its superstitions and concerns about China.”
Actions and rhetoric during the coronavirus epidemic have intensified this sting in China.
Chinese officials expressed resentment when they raised high levels of tourism alert for China – “Do not travel.”
Meanwhile, American officials have expressed reluctance to allow China to international health experts, doctors and scientists.
In early January, the United States imposed pressure on China officials to allow them to enter the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. China has ignored the request.
Mr Trump himself pressed the issue on a phone call with Mr Shi in February, administration officials said. Only last Friday the Chinese government acted sincerely and allowed two American experts to join an international team.
Administration officials say China is hiding important information about the epidemic, its origins and its extent. One official said that it was important to gather reliable data, such as transmission and illness rates, at the center of the outbreak of American experts.
Already, there are signs that mutual reintegration can profoundly affect international cooperation – from trade protectionism to scientific research – as well as the popular opinion of both countries.
Jude Blanchett, Freeman Chair of China Studies at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, says, “The level of trust in relationships is getting complicated.
“Fundamentally affecting the security of both countries, such as global epidemics and other issues,” he said, “it is going to be very difficult for both sides to work on the level of mistrust and inhumanity.”
Steven Lee Myers from Beijing and Edward Wong from Washington reported. Claire Fu from Beijing contributed to the study.