As America is preoccupied with a virus and economic problems?
China has moved past it’s own and seems to be coming away a much stronger country politically and economically….
They have quashed Hong Kong’s last bit of independence…
They have continued to dominate America’s foreign trade imports …
And they are moving to increase their trade /political ties around the world….
Donald Trump has actually helped China gain MORE influence around the world in another example of his inability to do much of anything except prop HIMSELF up….
China has also wielded its vast economic power as a tool of political coercion, cutting off imports of beef and barley from Australiabecause its government called for an international investigation into the origins of the pandemic. On Tuesday, Beijing said it would sanction the American aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin over recent weapons sales to Taiwan.
With the world distracted by the pandemic, China has also wielded its military might, as it did by testing its disputed frontier with India in April and May. That led to the first deadly clash there since 1975. The damage to the relationship could take years to repair.
Increasingly, China seems willing to accept the risks of such actions. Only weeks later, it asserted a new territorial claim in Bhutan, the mountain kingdom that is closely allied with India.
With China menacing vessels from Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia in the South China Sea, the United States dispatched two aircraft carriers through the waters last month in an aggressive show of strength. Further brinkmanship appears inevitable now that the State Department has declared China’s claims there illegal.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, said on Tuesday that the American declaration would undermine regional peace and stability, asserting that China had controlled the islands in the sea “for thousands of years,” which is not true. As he stated, the Republic of China — then controlled by the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek — only made a formal claim in 1948.
“China is committed to resolving territorial and jurisdictional disputes with directly related sovereign states through negotiations and consultations,” he said.
That is not how its neighbors see things. Japan warned this week that China was attempting to “alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.” It called China a more serious long-term threat than a nuclear-armed North Korea.
Michael A. McFaul, a former American ambassador to Russia, said China’s recent maneuvering appeared to be “overextended and overreaching,” likening it to one of the most fraught moments of the Cold War.
“It does remind me of Khrushchev,” he said. “He’s lashing out, and suddenly he’s in a Cuban missile crisis with the U.S.”….
Calls for a total decoupling of China’s supply chain from American tech companies are unrealistic in the short term, and would prove massively expensive in the longer term…
Mr. Wang, the foreign minister, urged the United States to step back and seek areas where the two countries can work together. Pessimism about the relationship is nonetheless widespread, though most Chinese officials and analysts blame the Trump administration for trying to deflect attention from its failure to control the pandemic….
image…Erin Schaff/The New York Times