The Observer view on Trump’s continued goading of China | Observer editorial

Posted by on May 17, 2020 1:00 am
Categories: Global Stories

The US president has used the pandemic to provoke a wider confrontation but Beijing should not be regarded as an enemy

Donald Trump’s histrionic threat last week to “cut off the whole relationship” with China produced a scornful response from Beijing. “Such lunacy is a clear byproduct of the anxiety the US has suffered since China began its global ascent,” the Global Times, the Chinese government’s mouthpiece, commented. The “Washington elites” were in a panic over the pandemic, it claimed.

While the tone was unfortunate, neither assertion wholly lacked truth. The US and its western allies do have concerns – some legitimate, some exaggerated – about China’s rise to superpower status. And the mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis by Trump, who appears increasingly unbalanced, makes China’s president, Xi Jinping, look undeservedly competent by comparison.

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