The dramatic escalation in America’s aggressive posturing was not to be unexpected. On the question of relations with Beijing, there certainly have been intra-elite battles on whether to treat China as an essential trading partner massively bolstering the US economy itself, or, on the other hand, as a potent enemy to be contained and weakened.
Trump’s theatrics in his absurd trade wars with Beijing throughout his term merely seemed like the extension of his reckless idiocy on display at home and abroad. However, the Trumpian madness has now converged with what the dominant factions of the American Deep State have determined is indeed the real threat: rising geo-economic, and increasingly geopolitical, competition from the world’s largest economy judged by purchasing power parity. Hence, the permanent bureaucracy of the American military-intelligence apparatus has set into motion all forms of hybrid warfare, psyops operations, etc. against China.
To add to the existing dangerous bellicosity toward Beijing coming from Washington, we now see an even further factor at play: Trump’s sinister use of the Coronavirus pandemic to deflect attention away from his horrible handling of the situation, cataclysmically affecting both the health and well-being of Americans, as well as the US economy.
In a normal situation in which a sitting American president in an election year is performing so abysmally – it would be next to obvious that s/he will be leaving the White House soon after the presidential election in November.
However, Trump’s reliance one last time of his mastery of being the quintessential con-artist makes him believe that he still has a good shot of being re-elected – as long he can heighten the xenophobic anti-China rhetoric everyday until Election Day. In his own narcissistic ambitions, he has now authorized the Pentagon and the CIA to do whatever they want in subversion programs against Beijing.
The difference this time, however, is that limits have been crossed in testing China’s sober and restrained patience in the face of such overt American belligerence. Recent defensive steps undertaken by Beijing demonstrate clearly now that not only can China effectively ward off the insidious geo-economics of the US’s global power plays, but China can also effectively restrain – and more – the American imperium geopolitically as well.
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Dr. Junaid S. Ahmad teaches Religion and Global Politics in Lahore, Pakistan.