Coexistence with China or Cold War II?
Under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump, his campaign and his party are moving to lay blame for the 80,000 U.S. dead at the feet of the Communist Party of China and, by extension, its longtime General Secretary, President Xi Jinping.
"There is a significant amount of evidence" that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week.
Trump himself seemed to subscribe to the charge:
"This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. There's never been an attack like this... It could have been stopped in China. It should have been stopped right at the source."
There is talk on Capitol Hill of suspending sovereign immunity so China may be sued for the damages done by the virus that produced a U.S. shutdown and a second Great Depression where unemployment is projected to reach near the 25% of 1933.
The Trump campaign has begun to target the Democratic nominee as "Beijing Biden" for his past collusion with China and his attack on Trump for "hysterical xenophobia" when Trump ended flights from China.
What is the historical truth?
On China, Trump is the first realist we have had in the Oval Office in decades. But both parties colluded in the buildup of China as she vaulted over Italy, France, Britain, Germany and Japan to become the world's second power in the 21st century.
Both parties also dismissed Chinese trade surpluses with the U.S., which began at a few billion dollars a year in the early 1990s and have grown to almost $500 billion a year. Neither party took notice until lately of our growing dependency on Beijing for products critical to our defense and for drugs and medicines crucial to the health and survival of Americans.
The mighty malevolent China we face today was made in the USA.