Before COVID-19, I was supposed to visit my relatives in China and their dog Nina. My brother and I had a plan to drink bubble tea all day long and gorge ourselves on Chinese food.
Then, BOOM! The virus sprang into existence and along with it, rising tensions between the US and China. Because COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, President Trump blamed China, referring to the virus as the “kung flu.” President Xi fired back with his own ammunition, claiming that the insults were an attempt to cover up Trump’s failure to contain the virus. The situation morphed into a vicious downward spiral with no end in sight.
“Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward Cold War,” effectively addresses this issue. It posits that the way things are going, there may never be an end to the new Cold War.
Now, with the virus acting as the last straw, the lines on the battlefield are drawn. Diplomatic relations are tumbling, with neither side attempting to remedy the mess. The US and China butt heads over everything from technology to territory to trade to space – characteristics extremely reminiscent of the original Cold War.
What started as minor fissures and cracks in the relationship swelled into gaping chasms that any president will have a tough time fixing.
At any moment, the tension will boil over and explode. But with time, perhaps, each president can bite back his pride and extend an apology to the other so we can fix the shattered hopes of a world broken by the virus.