Bringing back American business from China was one of the important promises of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
When Trump came to office, trade wars erupted between Washington and Beijing. Trump imposed additional tariffs on Chinese goods on the grounds that China took the lion's share of trade between the two countries.
China retaliated in kind for American goods while negotiations between the two countries were still ongoing.
U.S. hawks, who argued that China's slow but decisive economic rise since the 1980s threatens the U.S., are more empowered today in the White House.
In fact, the United States is credited with pushing for China's membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.
The American elites were of the view that China's accession to the global economic system would gradually alter Beijing's ideological and political system towards a more Western style regime with a fairly smooth transition.
According to the “China hawks” in the U.S., Beijing was systematically exploiting this perception.
China’s economic growth within the global system has only reinforced its political system. Beijing even branded this situation as the “China road.”
Contrary to what the globalists think, China does not need to compromise its ideological line in order for it to “change.”
In this context, China is, to some extent, bracing for the violent reaction of both globalists and American nationalists. Trump vacillates between these two trends.
It is no secret that the rise of China is a point of contention between "Globalists" and "Nationalists" in the U.S.
Today, this divergence casts its shadow on all aspects of the tension between China and the U.S.
We have frequently mentioned the repercussions of this disparity in Trump's White House before. We also repeatedly said that the tension between the two countries on the global stage has been interpreted as the “new cold war.” The term "Cold War" is making so many appearances in U.S. media nowadays.
Beijing's emerging novel coronavirus turning into a global outbreak has further strained tensions between the U.S. and China.
The Trump administration blames the Beijing administration for the global outbreak.
According to Beijing, the Trump administration is blaming China in order to divert attention from its failure to properly address the epidemic.
Both administrations want to max out their political gains by taking advantage of the other’s missteps.
The last development in the "epidemic tug of war" was the U.S. accusing China of stealing classified information.
Both the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that Chinese hackers are trying to steal information about vaccination studies conducted in the U.S.
The strategic competition defined as the "new cold war" or "Cold War 2.0" between the U.S. and China encompasses all military, economic, financial, technological and ideological aspects.
Cue the "vaccination war." The first country to find the Covid-19 vaccine will gain not only financial but also political standing.
Covid-19 has inflicted losses both internally and globally, albeit at different dosages, on both Beijing and Washington.
Beijing could not halt the spread of the epidemic, while Washington was caught off guard in many ways.
The economic toll on both countries was extremely heavy. It seems unlikely that this damage will be remedied in the short term.
COVID-19 has become a milestone to measure the merit of global leaders.
Meanwhile, the competition of the U.S. and China will, one way or another, directly impact all countries.
The Trump administration is mounting pressure on U.S. allies to turn their back on any sort of technology cooperation with China.
China will not refrain from flexing its economic and financial muscles to counter U.S. pressure.
There are also those who warn that the dangerous conflict between the U.S. and China could return the world to the conditions of the 1930s.
Kevin Rudd, a former Australian Prime Minister, Chinese expert and a former diplomat, is one of the experts sounding the alarm.
According to Rudd, even if can’t be said that the current situation has reached the level of "Cold War 2.0" yet, it already qualifies as "Cold War 1.5".
In an article he penned recently in the “Foreign Affairs” journal, Rudd pointed out that if the U.S. and China make the wrong decisions, the 2020s will resemble the 1930s.
As we all know, the political climate in the 1930s led to the triggering of "World War II."