Numerous countries around the world see the U.S. and China as beacons of hope when it comes to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, but these two superpowers are embroiled in a dangerous rivalry and do not seem to get along well enough to cooperate.
The U.S. was one of the founding actors on the world stage and also the guardian of this global system. However, the current U.S. administration is now trying to sabotage this very system.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that the United States would suspend its financial aid to the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, it was later stated that its contribution would be the same as China. The U.S.’s annual contribution to the organization is around $400 million and China's stands at $43 million.
Upon Trump's decision, the Chinese administration announced that it would increase the amount it contributes to WHO by another $30 million. China seems to be ready to fill every vacuum caused by the U.S.
China uses all the advantages of the global system to advance its global leadership. However, Beijing's first response to the epidemic provides clues about the quality of this role it aspires to undertake.
The Chinese administration was sloppy in the early stages of the epidemic, resulting in the global spread of the virus.
Bringing the epidemic under control, Beijing is trying to transform this success into a global public relations boon.
The U.S. administration, demonstrating ineptitude in fighting the epidemic, places responsibility squarely on China’s shoulders. The dosage of mutual accusations leveled by the two countries is increasing with every passing day.
Trump and his close circle favor the immediate lifting of all social distancing measures that hinder the functioning of manufacturing.
Republicans fear economic losses will be used against them in the 2020 elections.
According to Peter Navarro, one of the most prominent anti-Chinese officials in the U.S., social distancing measures will prevent many from perishing from the "Chinese virus", but more people will die as a side effect of these measures.
It should be also noted that Navarro always makes sure to use the term “Chinese virus.”
Navarro was also reluctant to admit that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fell short of the country’s expectations when it comes to testing.
When it comes to Trumpers, more tests make the U.S. look bad, as they mean more cases.
When asked a question regarding Navarro's statement, Trump's Secretary of Health Alex Azar said “I do not believe the CDC disappointed this country. I believe that the CDC serves an important public health role.”
Prepping for the 2020 elections, Trump and Republicans will bring the “China factor” on the agenda. In fact, Trump's former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon says the "China factor" will be at the heart of the Republicans' election campaign.
Dubbed as the ideologist of the American radical Right, Bannon was in cahoots with Navarro in the White House against the "Globalists" surrounding Trump. Bannon is also considered one of the top anti-China hawks.
Navarro recently said in a broadcast on the Fox Business Network that there should be a national discussion about China bearing the brunt of the responsibility for the epidemic crisis.
In the same program, Navarro also drew attention to the Chinese administration by insinuating that the virus was deliberately spread beyond Chinese borders, as people in Wuhan were prevented from traveling to Beijing and Shanghai during the epidemic, while they were allowed to travel aboard planes bound for New York, Milan and other cities.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement to Breitbart News, previously headed by Steve Bannon, said they will soon consider options to hold the Chinese administration accountable for the outbreak.
According to Pompeo, China not only caused the virus to spread, but also slowed down the world's ability to respond to the epidemic.
Bearing in mind that three professors in the U.S. have been arrested for allegations, including "information theft" on China’s behalf, it turns out that the "China factor" will figure much more prominently in U.S. domestic politics.