Whose fault?

Published On: July 31, 2020 03:07 PM NPT By: Sagar Sharma

The US accuses China of being an aggressor but events prove otherwise.

It’s been a frightening experience to watch the escalation of confrontation—and with it a real prospect of war—between the United States and China, world’s two largest economies and possibly the two most powerful militaries as well. In this conflict between the two superpowers, I see China as the victim.

China was actually the first victim of Covid-19 pandemic. China fought alone against the pandemic, bearing the huge economic losses. In three months, it was able to contain the outbreak.  The US was watching almost without care, as if the coronavirus would affect only China and the US was impervious to infection.

When the infection spread to the US, the US then started to smear China, by calling it a ‘made in China’ disease, while paying little attention to containing the pandemic from spreading in the US. The US should have focused its energy and concentration on containing the pandemic rather than cursing and blaming China.

By the time the infection rate and the number of deaths started to soar in the US, the pestilence was well under control in China. In this situation, the two powerful countries should have built cooperation to fight the disease together. Instead, the US chose confrontation.

The US has taken one after other step to provoke China. It was the US which started the trade war, not China. By imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, the US invited the situation of conflict. In recent times, two factors have contributed to rising confrontation between China and the US. First, in mid-July the US threatened to impose sweeping travel bans on Chinese Communist Party members. A week later, the US administration ordered China to close its Consulate Office in Houston, Texas by accusing China of stealing intellectual property. The decision was sudden and unexpected and the reason given has no firm basis. This wrong decision could further widen diplomatic standoff between China and the US.

Following that decision China also ordered closure of US consulate in Chengdu. The US accuses China of being an aggressor but these events prove otherwise.

As the US-China ties are at low point, many scholars are predicting the possible war between the two countries. They argue that President Trump might play two more cards against China before the election. He might go for establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan and thus play Taiwan card against China and the US might also go for raiding South China Sea Islands. If something like this happens, China will not take it lying down. China might not start the war but will surely retaliate if US wages war against China, at least to show to the future US administration that China will not be intimidated by the US and to prove its military might.

The whole world will suffer if they go on war. Thus they should immediately reconcile their differences and reestablish friendship. The ball, however, is in the court of America.

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