America Is in a New Cold War and This Time the Communists Might Win | #espionage | #surveillance | #ceo


It had been a bedrock belief of U.S. policy for 40 years that it was possible to bring the People’s Republic of China smoothly into the family of nations—and now, one of the architects of that policy was finally acknowledging the obvious.

In a speech six months ago, former World Bank President and Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick reminded listeners of his own famous 2005 call on Beijing to become a “responsible stakeholder.” He ticked off a few of the ways in which China had done just that: voting for sanctions on North Korea and limiting missile exports, for instance. But he acknowledged that the project had gone off the rails.

“Xi Jinping’s leadership,” Zoellick said of the PRC president, “has prioritized the Communist Party and restricted openness and debate in China. China hurts itself by forging a role model for dystopian societies of intrusive technologies and reeducation camps.” He added: “The rule of law and openness upon which Hong Kong’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model rests may topple or be trampled. If China crushes Hong Kong, China will wound itself—economically and psychologically—for a long time.”

Zoellick had that right. A global pandemic has brought relations between Beijing and Washington to its lowest point since China reopened to the world in 1978—even lower even than in those extraordinary days following the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

What had been a more confrontational, trade-centric relationship since the start of President Donald Trump’s term, has now descended into bitterness in the midst of a presidential reelection campaign Trump fears is slipping away. Any chance that the pandemic might spur Washington and Beijing to set differences aside and work together on treatments and other aspects of the pandemic—such as how exactly it started—is long gone.