Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
Washington is sending mixed messages to Beijing. On the one hand, it considers China, an enemy that must be prepared to fight against. On the other, it is calling for readiness to warm up the previously ambiguous relations with China, according to what the two Presidents Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden announced following their meeting in Indonesia on the margins of the G-20 summit in Bali. Is the US heading for another war with the industrial giant, dragging the Chinese dragon into the clutches of the American eagle, or is this simply a propaganda war to prevent Sino-Russian rapprochement and cooperation over Ukraine?
It is much more than a propaganda war and yet less than a preparation for a military confrontation with China. In a defence strategy plan presented to Congress, the Pentagon said, “China and Russia pose more dangerous challenges to safety and security, even as terrorist threats”. President Biden said he was more worried about China than about declining Russia. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “China is the only competitor out there with the intent to reshape the international (western) order and, increasingly, the power to do so”. The US defence strategy aligns the US in a cold war against China and Russia.
The US rhetoric is that China is actively weakening the US allies in Asia and “must be deterred before it alters the US-led Asian order” (US hegemony). These are potent indications from a US administration that fear its global dominance is challenged in Ukraine and other parts of the world, mainly among its Middle Eastern allies. China is indeed an economic and military giant with colossal means. Therefore, it is not a simple promenade for the US and its NATO allies to confront China as they do with Moscow. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, revealed its objectives far from what its name indicates, but it is guided by the US goals even if these don’t represent most of the 30-NATO members. NATO is already discussing “economic measures and actions against China”.
This is why mounting the pressure against Beijing has a precise aim to push the Chinese leadership to evaluate the potential risks they could run into when confronting the west, even if China has never given indications of a similar objective in its foreign or Asian policy. It is dèja vu in the US preventive war policy to take an aggressive initiative to intimidate its adversaries. However, China hardly fits in the list of easily vulnerable countries when it has the economic and military capability to stand against the US on many levels if needed. Suppose, at any moment, the US takes severe action against China. In that case, Beijing will join its efforts with Russia, which would be delighted, and other Asian and African countries already benefitting from their excellent ties with China.
The China-US relationship hit an all-time low under President Donald Trump’s administration, punctuated by a trade war and sanctions against Chinese tech companies, sanctions. President Biden not only maintained his predecessor’s sanctions but more than 110 Chinese entities have been added to Biden’s sanctions list, bringing the number to 600. Beijing started by selecting 95 US products to be exempt from tariffs. However, China imposed tariffs on more than $100 billion of US goods in response to the office of the US Trade Representative, which imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The US unfriendly measures continue: The US State Department suspended defence coordination talks with China, cooperation on transnational crimes, drug control, climate change and maritime advisory defence policies.
Regardless of the aggressive measures, Biden called for cooperation on climate change, global economic stability, global health and food security, bridging differences and working together. The US president suggested moving away from conflicts between the two countries to improve the ties between the two countries. The US administration has asserted that it does not seek regime change in China or start a cold war. The US claimed it won’t support Taiwan’s independence, seek a cold war, or sever diplomatic and economic ties. The Americans confirmed it is not in their desire to promote the transformation of economic and technological competition into conflict. America has repeatedly provoked China, especially after (former) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited the Chinese island of Taiwan in August this year. This prompted Beijing
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher