Tensions between the US and China have been heating up over the past month or so. In fact, just this week, inflamed tensions between the two superpowers have been blamed for the Chinese military stepping up military drills around East Asia, as the US and China have levied criticisms at one another in the aftermath of the US sending two aircraft carrier groups to perform dual-carrier exercises in the South China Sea twice in July.
Late July/Early August also saw both nations offering dueling orders for the closure of consulates and the FBI warning Americans living in or visiting Communist China of a “heightened risk of arbitrary detention,” related to “state security.”
Although it seems that the tide is taking the two countries to an eventual conflict of some sort, they are still heavily intertwined as each other’s “biggest investor and trade partner,” according to statements made last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Recent events should at the very least cause concern that this international tit-for-tat may eventually lead to military aggression.
In late winter, at the apex of coronavirus themed confusion and paranoia, China, which is singularly responsible for this outbreak and the related elevated death toll based on its suppression of information, withheld shipments of personal protective equipment marked for delivery in the United States and several other countries.
It was also later revealed that China, who for far too long denied the possibility of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, was hoarding PPE imports, as according to Steven Bannon, former White House chief strategist, “The same people that understood this virus had human-to-human transmission and was going to be a pandemic were at the same time vacuuming up every piece of PPE from the US, Brazil and Europe.”
Shortly after this time, the Chinese government would attempt to claim victory over what President Trump likes to refer to as the “Invisible Enemy.” This occurred just as the debate regarding how to reopen America and the rest of the world was just beginning.
In the months since, President Trump and many in the realms of media and politics have rightfully called out China for the deaths and worldwide recession associated with the mishandling of the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
Some have even started a discussion on specific financial reparations that China should be liable for as a result of COVID-19, as a result of the haphazard handling of valuable data that could have mitigated the loss of life and other economic damages.
As American attention begins to pivot to the election, which is just about 80 days away, it is important to take into consideration the positions of both candidates as they relate to China.
President Trump has always been very honest in his assessment of China. In 2017, while on a visit to Beijing, he told reporters, “This relationship is something which we are working very hard to make a fair and reciprocal one. Trade between China and the United States has not been — over the last many many years — a very fair one for us.”
Trump was very clear in pointing out the massive trade deficit as well as the issue of intellectual property theft in saying, “We must immediately address the unfair trade practices that drive this deficit along with barriers to market success: We really have to look at access, forced technology transfer and the theft of intellectual property — which just by itself is costing the United States and its companies at least $300 billion a year.”
The president’s warnings regarding China’s propensity for data theft are continually justified, as last month saw the FBI send out a warning related to GoldenSpy malware. GoldenSpy gives the Communist Chinese a backdoor into the data of private companies and is being forced on American businesses operating in China through a tax software being mandated by the government. Businesses that are being forced to use the tax software are being told it is in relation to value-added tax (VAT) payments to the Chinese tax authority.
On the other side, the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has already indicated that America would go back to appeasing China if he is elected by saying that he would end the tariffs put into place early on in the Trump administration. These tariffs were used strategically as a leveraging tool as new trade agreements were forged with China.
This would certainly serve China’s interests, as they have long enjoyed a friendlier relationship with not only former Vice President Joe Biden, but his son Hunter Biden as well. Over the past several years, Hunter has been a board member at the Chinese government-backed private equity firm BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company. According to The New York Times, in 2017, Hunter Biden purchased 10 percent of the company for about $420,000.
Additionally, according to Peter Schweizer’s book, Secret Empires, BHR was able to close a $1.5 billion investment deal through the Chinese government after Hunter flew to China on Air Force Two during his dad’s time as VP.
This November, these details will be among the most important to consider as America is faced with a decision between reelecting an America-First president or handing control back to the profiteers that have been selling out American interests internationally for decades.
Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, the Editorial Director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cybersecurity and politics, has been published by websites including The Hill, Real Clear Politics, Townhall and American Thinker.