A lot of questions have been raised lately about the US-China relations. Why are they at one of the "darkest hours"? How did they get here? By taking a closer look, one can find that the Trump administration has stepped up a B.L.A.M.E. game against China across the political spectrum, trumpeting a policy that is belligerent, lawless, arrogant, tainted with McCarthyism, and aiming for reelection.
B for Belligerence
The Trump administration is using an increasingly hostile tone against China. The State Department recently issued a statement on the South China Sea, abandoning its neutrality on the issue for the first time, and openly supported India's regional ambitions. The administration is now flexing military muscle at China's doorstep. In early July, two US Navy aircraft carriers were deployed in the South China Sea, and US surveillance aircraft entered the area at least 7 times within the second half of the month. The US is the real trouble-maker in the region, dangerously provoking hostile confrontation.
L for Lawlessness
The US ordered the abrupt closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston and broke into the premises in broad daylight. These unilateral actions are a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which obligates the US to facilitate or assist the sending state to acquire premises necessary for its mission. The administration also cares nothing about the fact that the premises are the Chinese government's property and should enjoy lawful protection under the US Constitution. It's sarcastic that those unlawful actions happen in a nation proud of its rule of law.
A for Arrogance
As COVID-19 rages across America, the rest of the world wonders how it has responded far worse than all the other major countries around the globe, and wasted every opportunity to defeat the virus. Former president Obama called the US handling of the pandemic "an absolute chaotic disaster". Trump seems too arrogant to admit this. He made up various false accusations against China and even called COVID-19 "Chinese virus", which have been widely confronted: The WHO has been warning against politicizing the pandemic; Recent Lancet editorial pointed out that scapegoating China is not constructive.
M for McCarthyism
Secretary Pompeo's recent speech at the Nixon Library illustrates the long shadow of McCarthyism to the full, an anti-Communism hysteria featuring wide investigations and baseless prosecutions. He intends to stir the Red Scare against the Chinese Communist Party, but fails to comprehend why a Harvard University survey has found lately that Chinese citizens' satisfaction with government is increasing virtually across the board. He delivered a rhetoric reminiscent of the Cold War, while no one would ever want to return to an era when international tension and hostility spilled into domestic arena.
E for Election
It is said that all politics is local in America. The Trump administration is obsessed with China only because it aims at reelection in November and thus pursues the B.L.A.M.E. policy for that purpose. The administration is under heavy fire for its handling of America's 3D disaster: disease, depression and demonstration. The US is leading the world in the numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths, lagging behind China and Europe on economic recovery, while facing domestic unrest due to public resentment against police brutality and systematic racism. It is self-evident that the Blame China Game registers higher and higher on the Trump-o-meter only because Trump has failed the American people in so many ways that it seeks in a desperate attempt to shift the blame and to rally his base with a tough stance against China.
A Policy Doomed to Failure
It turns out that this B.L.A.M.E. policy doesn't work well as intended. A recent AP-NORC poll finds that 80% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, an all-time high in its surveys. Let's hope this blame game will end in due time so that the US-China relations can head back to correct tracks and the world can regain its certainty, stability and prosperity.