Washington cautioned against being more aggressive on China

NEW YORK: A more aggressive stand adopted by some top U.S. administration officials against China on economic, diplomatic and scientific issues at the heart of the relationship between the world’s first and second largest economies may backfire, reported The New York Times on Saturday.
“Along with lost opportunities to fight the (COVID-19) pandemic, climate change and other transnational threats, U.S. efforts to punish China could backfire badly,” Jessica Chen Weiss, a professor of government at Cornell University, was quoted by the newspaper as saying. “Weakening sovereign immunity to sue China could boomerang back.”
China controls a vast supply of the masks and protective gear needed by American hospitals. “And if China develops a vaccine first, it will wield a powerful card, one that will bolster its global standing and give it leverage over the health of hundreds of millions of Americans,” it reported.
China is likely to emerge from the recession caused by the pandemic faster than other nations, said the paper. “The United States – still reeling from the virus, with more than 1 million infected and more than 64,000 dead – will probably rely on economic activity in Asia to help prop up its own economy.”
The newspaper listed the executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump to stop the import of foreign equipment for power plants and transmission systems, the request by several agencies for the Federal Communication Commission to ban China Telecom Americas from domestic networks, as well as the support of some White House aides this week for Trump to issue another executive order to block a government pension fund from investing in Chinese companies, among others, as the recent actions or tendencies that have dampened the bilateral ties between China and the United States.
With COVID-19 lingering in the United States, “the Trump administration may feel cornered into taking enforcement actions against China, even on dubious grounds, to show how tough they are,” explained Wendy Cutler, a vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.–Agencies