Washington has been deadly sure to sanction China in certain way (Bloomberg May 26). While the COVID-19 pandemic may not be a sufficiently justified excuse, Beijing’s move to enact a national security law (Guardian May 28) for its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK) is more than welcome by President Trump and the ‘Deep State’.
To weaken China as one of their ‘rival powers’ (US National Security Strategy 2017) before it is able to climb up to the US level, reducing HK’s capabilities of making all sorts of contributions to China’s growth is a smart move.
But it will officially lift the US-China tension up to a new level, namely antagonistic polarization due to a deeper cut-off of ties between them. In the coming future, other players must make a choice in between. The result can be chaotic.
Firstly, state or federal governments have to take side more clearly, be friend with China or the US.
Secondly, provincial or local governments have to take side, too. A recent example is happening in Australia. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews signed a new deal with Beijing to join the Belt and Road Initiative (ABC News 2019 Oct 25), and obviously it is not in line with the Morrison Government’s policy orientation.
Thirdly, multi-national corporations cannot escape this difficult dilemma, too. Washington has asked American corporations to move supply chains out of China. Japanese, Korean, European, ANZ companies all have to choose. It is a must to check who is going do what and when.
Fourthly, like it or not, ordinary citizens have to decide what to tell their politicians and political parties, too. An opinion survey conducted by Pew of the US and Körber-Stiftung of Germany in April asked 1,000 Germans whether their country should be closer to US or China, and surprisingly those who preferred China jumped from 24% in 2019 to 36% in 2020 (those who preferred the US dropped from 50% to 37% over the year) (Pew May 18).
Nations in Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and Asia all will face a tough choice. And it will bring forth troubles and chaos.
The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.