US Mulls ‘Punitive Action’ Against China; Cancellation Of Debts An Option?

The clash between the US and China that began with the Trump Administration’s fury over the COVID-19 pandemic is taking an increasingly dangerous turn as Washington looks to undermine the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party. 

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Recently, a speech by Matthew Pottinger, the United States Deputy National Security Advisor raised many questions on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) leadership of China.

The former American journalist and Beijing correspondent for ‘The Wall Street Journal’ seemed to slip the idea of democracy into the Chinese minds and conveyed in fluent Mandarin that Beijing would benefit from  “a little more populism, a little less nationalism”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been in power for more than half a century and has been one of the longest-running single-party regimes in modern history, outgunned only by North Korea.

Presently led by Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a membership of about 90 million people. This second largest political party in the world controls the world’s largest armed forces, an advanced nuclear arsenal and an infringing intelligence agency.

In spite of the rampant progress, “China has become a threat because its leaders are promoting a closed, authoritarian model as an alternative to democratic governance and free-market economics.

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The Chinese Communist Party is not only strengthening an internal system that stifles human freedom and extends its authoritarian control,” says H. R. McMaster, a retired US Army lieutenant general and a former White House national security adviser.

After coronavirus outbreak hit the United States infecting millions and killing thousands of Americans, US President, Donald Trump and his aides left no stone unturned in criticising Beijing for its failure to contain and timely report about the virus.

Brian T. Kennedy, Chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger, China writes “Long before this crisis, the Chinese Communist Party was waging a political and economic war against the United States. The Wuhan virus is merely another weapon in this war.”

Isaac Stone Fish, a senior fellow at the Asia Society’s Center on US-China Relations said that “There’s more of a worry at the top in Beijing that what the party has been paranoid about for a really long time, which is that the US and other nations don’t want the CCP to rule China.”

He added that “There is a growing awareness in Washington that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t serve America’s interest, it doesn’t serve the interests of many people in China, and there’s growing debate about what the US should do about that”.

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The US is attempting to invite Taiwan to the World Health Assembly (the governing body of the WHO). Experts state that this move by the US as an intention to upgrade Taiwan’s status on the world stage, which Beijing defines as a ‘renegade province’.

However, it might be interesting to note that the Taipei has not yet received any such invitation as of now.

Last year, as trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies intensified, some US manufacturers switched production and supply chains out of China. Moreover, it is now reported that US officials are even offering incentives to organisations to move out of China.

The presidential elections in the US is sure to witness Trump’s campaigns against China and its policies. Trump having been previously known to state that China is “raping” the U.S. with free trade has now said that he is contemplating punitive measures, reportedly exploring whether the US can sue China or cancel some of its mounting debts.