Despite some friendly gestures made before the coronavirus pandemic escalated, President Donald Trump’s stance toward the Chinese government has taken a decidedly negative tone in recent weeks — and it now seems unlikely that a change is coming anytime soon.
In fact, it looks increasingly likely that Trump — along with some GOP lawmakers — has decided to go all-in on both blaming China for the deadly pandemic and seeking ways to hold Beijing accountable ahead of the November election, The Hill reported.
For President Trump, that means he will likely issue no further complimentary messages regarding Chinese President Xi Jinping; instead, he will turn his attention to reminding both his base of voters and the broader American electorate of exactly where the horrible disease originated — and of the fact that the Chinese regime has never been transparent about what really happened.
As for Republicans in Congress, some appear to have joined in on the effort as well, with a newly formed House committee set to investigate China’s alleged cover-up of the virus’ origins, according to The Hill. Others in the House and Senate have put forward a number of bills that, if passed, would seek to hold the Chinese regime accountable in a variety of ways, such as through economic sanctions and travel restrictions.
Of course, Democrats have already expressed their opposition to those ideas and have dismissed any talk linking China to the coronavirus as “racist.” Yet, according to a Republican strategist who advised both Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) 2016 campaign, the effort to pin the blame on China could work out in favor of Trump and Republicans.
“I think the anti-China message has currency, not just with the GOP base but also with some swing and independent voters as well. That’s why it’s appealing to the Trump campaign — and you even see that the Biden campaign has dipped their toe in the water on this too,” Lanhee Chen told The Hill, though he noted that Trump’s handling of the economy, as well as the pandemic, remained incredibly important factors.
Chen added, “The downside risk for campaigns of focusing on the political attacks against China is that it may appear as though they are trying to distract from these two principal questions.”
Trump slams China’s “incompetence”
Emblematic of Trump’s strategy of blaming China was a fiery tweet he posted on Wednesday that essentially accused the communist regime of “incompetence” with regard to its initial handling of the viral contagion.
“Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people. Please explain to this dope that it was the ‘incompetence of China’, and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing!” the president tweeted.
Though Trump did not name the specific “wacko” to whom he was referring in that missive, the New York Post reported that the most likely culprit was Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who just a day earlier had accused President Trump of having an “incompetent response” to the global pandemic.
Tensions sure to grow
Meanwhile, with this new strategy at play, CNBC reported that tensions between the U.S. and the Chinese communist regime will likely grow worse ahead of the elections, with the ongoing trade war potentially morphing into a new sort of “cold war” driven by sharp and accusatory rhetoric and tit-for-tat retaliatory measures imposed by both sides against the other.
It is obvious to everyone — save for those on the left who’ve lost touch with reality — that China bears the blame for the death and economic destruction unleashed on the world by the coronavirus. President Trump and his Republican allies are right to point it out loudly and often, and hopefully, the American people will agree and vote accordingly come November.