A level of confrontation is unfolding between China and the United States, which many political scientists call the Second Cold War. Only in recent days, the States managed to submit to Congress a bill on sanctions against the PRC called “On responsibility for COVID-19,” accusing Beijing of trying to steal the American development of a vaccine against coronavirus, and through the mouth of its leader Donald Trump, did not exclude a “complete breakdown” in relations with China. Terrible rhetoric is also answered from Beijing: and although the Chinese authorities do not officially speak of counter-sanctions, the expert community of China calls for the most severe response to unfriendly attacks from overseas. What will come of this is in the Izvestia material.
On all fronts
The introduction to the US Congress this week of a bill on sanctions against the PRC called “On Responsibility for COVID-19” is unlikely to be a bolt from the blue. Its author, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, proposed punishing China with restriction as “the largest state sponsor of the pandemic” back in mid-April. And, in fact, he simply turned from words to action, proposing to empower the president to introduce restrictions against China (including freezing assets, canceling visas and banning IPOs of his companies in the USA), if Beijing refuses to cooperate in investigating the origin of coronavirus, does not confirm the closure of all wildlife markets in the country and at the same time will not free political prisoners in Hong Kong.
On May 14, the U.S. Senate approved another anti-Chinese act on human rights in Xinjiang. This bill, supported by the House of Representatives in December, will allow sanctions against Chinese officials responsible, according to the Americans, for organizing labor camps in the special Xinjiang Uygur administrative region of China. By the way, the Americans were not indifferent to the fate of another Chinese region – Tibet. A bill is approaching prescribing US support for the independent elections of the next Dalai Lama by the forces of the Tibetan Buddhist community without interference in the PRC authorities’ process.
Not only lawmakers, but also representatives of the American intelligence community and law enforcement agencies became more active on the Chinese front. On May 13, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a warning that China could launch cyber attacks on the sites of US research institutes and pharmaceutical companies to steal data related to coronavirus vaccines. And the Pentagon again recalled the expansion of China in the South China Sea, promising by the end of the month to return to the region its aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, temporarily disabled by the epidemic.
The apotheosis of the entire anti-Chinese campaign was the last speech of Donald Trump. On May 14, in an interview with Fox Business news, the head of the White House noted his disappointment with China’s inability to contain the epidemic, adding that the United States “could completely break off relations” with Beijing.