What Are These 2 Great Powers Playing At?

A decade of enormous economic growth has come to an end in North America, while China sees the abrupt conclusion of almost half a century of accelerated economic progress.

Deadly pandemics without known vaccines, and natural events with catastrophic impacts; desertification, mass migration and rising sea levels as a result of climate change. These global challenges have been written into our existence, as well as that of generations to come. Their arrival is certain; what we don’t know is the extent of their gravity or when they’ll hit. Defending against them demands a certain degree of international cooperation that is currently nonexistent. We have a universal responsibility for mankind, the Dalai Lama reminds us.

So, what are the U.S. and China playing at? A decade of enormous economic growth has come to an end in North America, while China sees the abrupt conclusion of almost half a century of accelerated economic progress. China has managed to avoid what it feared would be its Chernobyl, keeping the pandemic down to incredible levels relative to its 1.4 billion population, most likely sweeping some contagion numbers and death tolls under the rug. Its worldwide campaign of propaganda, misinformation and aggressive diplomacy is an attempt to make us believe that its response to COVID-19 has been the best. A few years ago, China’s president, Xi Jinping, taking advantage of President Donald Trump’s obstinate denial, turned China — the country with the highest carbon emissions in the world — into a champion in the fight against climate change. China asserts itself as a soft power that should be respected. It is committed, Beijing assures us, to building a community with a shared future for humanity. It sounds good, and the most populated country on earth would once again become the Middle Kingdom, with a universal radius of action.

The pandemic is Trump’s Vietnam, with more than 66,000 deaths compared to the 58,200 deaths in the United States’ last great war. His disastrous performance in the fight against the pandemic is enough to make us believe that Trump has lost it. First, he denied it, and later, in an act of incredible stupidity, he recommended that those infected with COVID-19 inject themselves with household disinfectant. The red light has come on in the White House. The elections on Nov. 3 will be held with the economy underwater, drowning Trump’s best electoral trump card. The president, bewildered, substitutes for it by fighting with China for having not contained the virus, which was supposedly created in a Wuhan laboratory. Trump wants to make it pay financially, like the Allies and Nazi Germany. The firm stance against Beijing is supported by U.S. citizens. But enough with the false propaganda wars, disinformation or outright lies. This could be the time for the two superpowers to shine a light on global issues.

The withdrawal of the U.S. creates a vacuum. China, unsure whether to assume global responsibility, can’t quite fill it yet, but it’s determined to consolidate its rise. Henry Kissinger, the American who best understood China, has already warned us that the two countries are too big for one to dominate the other. Ask yourselves: Where would conflict get us?

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About Hannah Bowditch 108 Articles
Hi, my name is Hannah. I am originally from UK but currently residing in Montreal, Canada, working in a bakery and trying to brush up on my French! I hold a Masters degree in Translation from the University of Portsmouth and a BA in English Literature and Spanish. I love travel and languages and am very pleased to be a part of the Watching America team.

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