Opinion | Anti-China virus is far deadlier than COVID
This is getting ridiculous. NATO, after meeting Biden, declared it now considers China a threat. As we all know, NATO is separated from China by a continent and faces a different ocean. China has no troops in Europe and the two sides have never fought a battle, though inexcusably in 1999 US-NATO planes "accidentally" bombed the Chinese embassy in former Yugoslavia, for which it still owes China an apology.
For NATO to call China a threat is a stretch.
Now, NATO is again dragged into a non-existing enmity with China, courtesy of the US. Its leaders are doing their best to tip-toe around this delicate matter, saying that China is not an enemy, but that it is nevertheless a threat.
This should satisfy America, giving Biden something to take home from his summits. But in truth, Biden returned home practically empty-handed. All he got from G-7 and NATO are some pious noises about the threat of a rising China, unsupported by any agreements that put their money where their mouth is.
Still, this cannot be good for the world. NATO was specifically created to address the threat of the former Soviet Union. Currently, its primary function is to counter the military ambition of Russia against its European neighbors. China does not remotely come into the picture.
China and NATO operate in different theatres, or to borrow a Chinese phrase, they are separate like water from the well and water from the river.
NATO has no quarrel with China. But that doesn't stop it from vaguely accusing China of menacing its neighbors. This is twisting the truth. China's recent conflict with India was the result of the latter taking advantage of a China busy fending off American encirclement. India, under strong man Modi, miscalculated that this was a good time to avenge its humiliating defeat by China in 1962. China merely wanted to let sleeping dogs lie.
Even Vietnam, America's former bitter foe, has been cajoled into an incongruous capitalist/communist friendship of convenience. America has also violated its taboo over Taiwan by befriending the renegade province, thus treading on China's ultimate red line.
America's strategic focus is plain for all to see: to create trouble for the middle kingdom in its own backyard, and to checkmate China abroad by drumming up support from traditional allies through Five Eyes, G7 and NATO. Not even WHO has been ruled out.
Like it or not, China defines America's future. China might be absent from G-7 or NATO summits, but it dominated their agenda. Strategically, America is but a one-trick pony in dueling with the Asian dragon.
America's fear of another rising power is not new. In the 80's, Japan was in America's bull's eye for threatening its six major economic sectors, especially its automotive industry. Now hate-China has replaced hate-Japan.
The US projects itself as a rule-abiding democracy, but it has a record of playing dirty. It plays to win, at all costs. America's law is the law of the world as the case against Huawei's CFO shows. It is not above kidnapping hostile leaders or launching a full-scale war as in Iraq. China, by contrast, has a pristine foreign record.
By now, it is clear that good conduct doesn't disarm American hostility if it remains a perceived threat to the US. America wants a kowtowing "wimp".
Biden used to enjoy a warm personal relationship with President Xi. But now, for political expediency, he downgrades it from "an old friend" to just someone he knows well. This is the petty remark of a petty leader in an insecure country, unworthy of Biden's global stature. Is he trying to out-Trump Trump in antagonizing China? At least Trump was not afraid to say that President Xi was his good friend when it suits him.
It's time Western leaders came to their senses: What does it profit them to push China into a corner? In case you haven't noticed, every time China is badmouthed by a foreign power, the Chinese people rally vociferously behind their government.
By labeling China as an enemy, they are taking on 1.4 billion people. However unpalatable to them, the Chinese are in love with their government whose ratings are through the roof. The Chinese are not your voters, but they will fight those who target China as an enemy. Can you roll back this huge tide of humanity? China, after all, is not North Korea.
Wake up and smell the coffee. China no longer dines on its ideology. Nor has it ever exported its brand of socialism to any country. In external relations, it adopts a typically Chinese "live-and-let-live" attitude even towards its rivals. China's only military presence overseas, despite its growing muscle, is through UN's peace-keeping missions. It behaves like a boy scout, whereas America has been tearing around like a schoolyard bully.
The only Western country that curates its China policy correctly is little New Zealand: it engages China and endears itself profitably by embracing one-fifth of humanity. To understand China, see it as a quintessentially Confucian country that treats its neighbors with respect. China is both rational and respectful in its external relations.
Encirclement is a loser's mentality, driven by jealousy, fear and self-defeating insecurity. It has forced China to bulk up its military muscle to stand up to American bullying.
China is simply too big to be contained. If, in the extreme unlikelihood that China is encircled and strangled, the world will tumble into a history-ending war and economic hell. This is a fool's game. No one is a winner. All are losers. And America, the fear-monger, may come to regret its role as a super-spreader of an anti-China virus that is far deadlier than COVID.