Trump Breaks The China

Apr 15, 2020 by

The US, under President Trump has gone on overdrive to try to reset our nation’s geopolitical policies and direction with China. It began first, as a candidate in 2016 and now as President of the United States. While the President will attempt to claim this “standing up to China” political lane to himself, it is perhaps one of a few major policy directions he and Democratic leaders share in common. 

One of Trumps excuses for our nations slow response to Covid-19 is that China deceived the US and the world on the seriousness of the virus. Could China have be more transparent sooner and forthright — absolutely,  But, since when has our National Security/health been outsourced to the Chinese Communist Party or any other nation telling us the “truth”?

China clearly shoulders responsibility for their slow acknowledgment of this virus to their own people and their lack of transparency to the world. China’s slow walking the alarm internally clearly delayed response to help the Chinese people and the the world.

But be very clear, the POTUS is simply trying to find scapegoats to cover up for the lack of his administrations preparedness and lack of early action to beat back this pandemic.

Be equally blaming China and now The World Health Organization (WHO) does nothing to help the American people. 

The US needs a defensive strategy that challenges China around their response to the coronavirus, free and fair trade, intellectual property theft, human rights abuse, access to the Chinese market, military expansion into vital sea lanes, environmental degradation, and other geopolitical issues that threaten the US and planet. 

America First

“America First, should mean investing in the American people.  

We also desperately need an offensive strategy that strengthens America’s own human and infrastructure assets – neglected for far too long. We have little ability to control China, but we DO have 100% control over investment in our own future. This includes research and development, better educational opportunities for our citizens, and attention to climate and infrastructure. Instead, sadly, we are disinvesting even as China invests in its education, infrastructure, and technology – fully embracing the future. 

It is past time to ask: “What we can do to assure China’s rise does not come at our demise?”

Come Together

China and the US need to join forces to combat the coronavirus and the economic disruption it has unleashed. How our respective leaders address these issues will impact the people of China, the United States, and all humanity. 

Blaming China or the World Health Organization (cutting WHO’s funding in the middle of a global pandemic is down right dangerous)  does nothing to address the crisis before us. It DOES divert needed focus on the great inequities in our educational, healthcare, and general social support systemsto people caught in the embarrassing national poverty trap.

Gloves Come Off

Yet, even as I write, Trump’s new presidential campaign attack ads have already begun efforts at lies, misinformation, distortion to frighten the American people. Once again, he is trying to discredit Joe Biden, painting to him as weak on China.

President Trump has already championed himself as wartime hero fighting against the coronavirus with China as its reinforcement. China and the mistakes it made in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak provides cover for President Trump to divert attention away from US mistakes in confronting Covid-19.

Anti China/Communist fear will be used to gin up the spirits of nationalism and bring out voters seeking a leader that offers simple solutions to complex problems. A bumper sticker slogan that reads.”ships jobs to China” will resonate with weary American voter; much more so than a rational explanation of geopolitical, economic and power theories. 

Democratic Counter Weight To China

But be equally clear, President Trump does not own the reigns pulling back on China. Democrats have also been pronounced in seeing China as more of a threat than partner. 

Yet, it is a clear bet that Trump will paint his likely 2020 presidential competitor, Joe Biden as weak on China. He will tar

and feather him as part of the establishments apologist contingent that perpetuate unfair trade deals and allowed China into the World Trade Organization resulting in China meteoric economic rise, at America’s demise over the past 4 decades. 

Biden and the Democrats better have a quick and catchy response to being,

“Soft on China” or they will pay dearly at the polls. 

Trump Doubles Down On China

Fear and anger rallies voters. As we witnessed in the 2016 elections hate and anger at “ others” is a growth engine for votes. It always has been. Democrats best not be stupefied when these attacks come.

I suspect before the 2020 Election Day arrives Trump will convince his base of an impending threat of a Chinese invasion in an attempt to destroy America. The election will be based on fear, anger, resentment, threats,

retribution – and CHINA!

It appears a likely Trump campaign theme  will be his willingness to punish China YUGELY. He will tout his “Great Wall” to contain China.

Tom Watkins was deputy chief of staff to Gov. Jim Blanchard, director of Department of Mental Health and State Superintendent of Schools. He has also been president and CEO of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Florida and is considered an expert on China. He has a lifelong interest in building cultural, educational and economic ties between the US and China. Read his China thoughts here:

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