The Chinese government has responded with an internment camp for
to try to stem the violence and to prevent a civil war like in Syria from breaking out. But such moves have been met predictably with
from the US, which would much rather see conflict in China.
The US has made it publicly clear that it regards China as a “
”, which is a polite label for enemy. The US has been actively trying to provoke China into a military confrontation since 2013 under the
by suddenly turning the South China and East China seas into hotspots after decades of peace in the region.
Since Chinese President Xi Jinping has not taken the bait on that front, the Trump administration has tried to bait China by stirring up more trouble using
and Xinjiang. US actions related to
are consistent with this strategy.
notwithstanding, the US has been openly discriminating against Chinese across its economy. From blocking
in US companies and
American hi-tech suppliers from doing business with Chinese companies such as Huawei, to accusing Chinese students and
of being spies, the US has made it no secret that China is its top target.
How does Soleimani fit into this picture? China has been a major importer of
. China is also part of the
, which makes it a close partner of Russia.
Since the US has not had great success in provoking China into a military confrontation in the other theatres, it is very likely that it intends to drag China into a war through another country in the same way that Germany was drawn into World War I after
of the Austro-Hungarian empire’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
It was no coincidence that Google searches for “Franz Ferdinand” spiked minutes after Soleimani’s assassination, and the vast majority of those searches came from Washington.
This April 4, 2014, photo shows a reproduction of a London newspaper front page from 1914, which writes about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on display at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City in the US. Photo: AP
Naturally, China has been
because if Iran escalates things with military retaliation, it could then drag Russia into a conflagration that China would be unable to avoid. China has no interest in being dragged into a war because it knows that when there is chaos and instability in the world, economic growth is the casualty.
China’s economic growth relies on a stable global environment. The US, on the other hand, would prefer chaos in the world because this allows it to remain the sole superpower.
While the US has been openly hostile towards Iran and Russia, China is America’s real prize since neither Iran nor Russia could displace the US as a superpower in the foreseeable future. All the war games in the Pentagon have been against China, not Iran or Russia.
Without designating China as a “peer competitor”, the US military couldn’t justify its
. After all, if China is not a “threat”, the military-industrial complex would be severely downsized.
China is the only country that could soon displace the US as the largest economic power, which often means that political power will follow. Seen from this framework, Trump’s move is a carefully calculated provocation of China, one that brings us closer to breaking the camel’s back.
Ann Lee is an internationally recognised leading authority on China’s economic relations and author of What the US Can Learn from China, and Will China’s Economy Collapse? She is also a former visiting professor at Peking University and an adjunct professor at New York University and Pace University, where she taught macroeconomics and financial derivatives
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Courtesy- South China Morning Post