BEIJING: China-bashing is one of the most favorite campaign strategies used by U.S. politicians during presidential elections, per-haps even more so this year than before.
With the continuous spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 60,000 people and induced a deepening reces-sion in the United States, there are plenty of incentives for some U.S. politicians to shift blame to China, a convenient scapegoat in an election year.
The high-volume attacks against China, including absurd and ill-disposed calls for inquiry, lawsuits and compensation to hold China liable for coronavirus damage, all stem from the desperate effort to divert domestic attention and shield their own incompe-tence and mistakes from scrutiny.
The U.S. administration might thought it had a strong hand in this year’s election before the outbreak of COVID-19, with an os-tensibly strong economy and a booming stock market. Such confidence may explain some of the reluctance for the current administration to take the virus head on, which opted instead to sit on its hands, hoping the virus would blow over.
Unfortunately, false hope is as dangerous as it is paralyzing. Over 1 million people have been infected with the virus in the country so far, and more than 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits since the epidemic forced widespread business closures.
As reality sank in, that aloofness turned into panic, prompting absurd suggestions that COVID-19 is similar to the flu, or that injecting disinfectant may be a cure for the disease.
In a desperate attempt to shift blame for its clumsy handling of the pandemic, Washington has also decided to suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), at a time when the institution needs to be strengthened with more resources and the most effective “vaccine” against the virus is international cooperation.
Trade experts have also warned that Washington’s additional tariffs on Chinese medical products may contribute to shortages and higher costs of vital equipment, thus impeding the U.S. response to the pandemic. But Washington has shown no signs of re-thinking its doctrine of unilateral trade protectionism, and even threatened to impose more tariffs on China.
As many have pointed out, scapegoating China does no good whatsoever in helping the United States fight against the pandem-ic. On the contrary, the unreserved attacks on China only mean that these shortsighted politicians prioritize their own interests over protecting people from the lethal virus. Refusing to accept reality and shifting blame to others spell more disasters down the road. The world needs to watch out.