With a barrage of sharp rhetoric and the trade war now back on again, the United States and China are drawing their battle lines, hindering the world from tackling COVID-19.
The sudden flare up of tensions started as the two sides play the blame game to justify their own slow responses to the pandemic
“If you look at the U.S., of course it’s election year and Donald Trump is doing everything he can to deflect from a less than stellar performance in dealing with the pandemic within the United States. Now if you look at the Chinese side, Xi has to carry a fair amount of blame for creating the culture that stopped local officials in Wuhan from speaking up and reporting just how bad the outbreak was when it could have been contained within China.”
But at the heart of the bilateral feud is a battle for supremacy in trade, security and emerging technologies to grow their geopolitical influence.
Trump is targeting China’s biggest tech companies, in a fresh round of their trade war, to curb major technological advances like 5G.
Whoever masters the technologies of today and tomorrow will probably be the dominant power in the coming decades. And control for large part, shape of the future of the 21st century.
Meanwhile, China seems to be employing the divide and conquer strategy on America’s longtime allies, supplying protective masks to the EU and donating 2 billion U.S. dollars to the World Health Organization.
The Chinese have mastered what the West deems to be multilateral diplomacy, and they’re very effective at deploying that language when, however, they are called out for behavior that doesn’t match that rhetoric, they can be quite acidic.
But as long as the pandemic continues, experts say these proxy battles won’t benefit either side, and will hinder global efforts to counter the virus, protect economies and develop a working vaccine.
The world’s biggest economies will have to put their rivalry aside for the time being.
By Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.