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Atlantic Council Claims That China Is Taking Advantage of Trump’s Inaction

April 27, 2020 (EIRNS)—The Atlantic Council, the U.S. branch of the neo-con establishment in the U.S. and the U.K. (the U.S. counterpart of the Henry Jackson Society in Britain) issued a statement warning that China is using the COVID-19 crisis to grab leadership away from the U.S. in Asia and the world. Interestingly, they seem to hate Donald Trump more than China, so they call for the United States to cooperate with China to stop the threat of a global financial collapse.

Titled “A Step Change in Sino-American Relations—Shaping the Post-COVID World Together,” Council members Mathew J. Burrows and Peter Engelke write: “The U.S. foreign policy elite worries that the United States could lose the global leadership contest with China if Washington perseveres with its America First approach.”

They write:

“There is bipartisan agreement that China is to blame for the coronavirus outbreak.... Both Democrats and Republicans are incensed about the U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. At a minimum, a decoupling in this and other realms seems in the offing. Compounding the anger is the realization that China is pulling out of the crisis ahead of the United States and is already starting its economic recovery. The most recent Institute of International Finance (IIF) forecast shows China recovering to the point of having 2-3% GDP growth for the year.”

But, they continue: “In the short term, both the United States and China may need each other to ensure a chance at a global recovery. In 2008, China reflated its economy and, in doing so, helped the rest of the world recover. It is unclear, however, whether China has the same capacity today. China’s total debt load amounts to about 310% [of GDP], and some observers believe it does not have the appetite for a major economic stimulus initiative. If the global recovery is long and halting, and does not deliver on jobs, both leaderships in the United States and China will face real tests and in this soured atmosphere, protectionism and Sino-American frictions will become even stronger.

“The bottom line is, the coronavirus pandemic may end up reinforcing Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China’s authoritarian tendencies on the one hand, and an America First reaction on the other.”

Therefore, fearing Trump as much as China, they call for cooperation with China to deal with the financial breakdown (in cooperation with the IMF and Asia Development Bank, of course), rather than leaving it in China’s hands.

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