Washington’s Obsession with China Expands

March 25, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Mid-March saw a series of events helping to measure with exactitude US foreign policy regarding China – a commitment to and a doubling down on a decades-long encirclement and containment policy that has – so far – failed to return on Washington’s immense investments in it. 

The first indicator was the new US administration of President Joe Biden continuing without even the slightest deviation Trump-era policy regarding the targeting and banning of Chinese companies. 

German state media – Deutsche Welle – in an article titled, “US designates Huawei, four other Chinese tech firms national security threats,” would note: 

The US has labeled five Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, as national security risks. President Joe Biden may be continuing his predcessor’s hardline stance against China’s growing technological dominance.

Evidence justifying US claims of Chinese companies presenting a national security risk to the US has never been produced – and it is clear that these claims are meant to justify what is otherwise merely America’s inability to compete with rising Chinese companies. Because, in addition to banning Chinese companies from doing business in the US – the US has sought to pressure nations around the globe to similarly deny market access to China. 

This is an ongoing bid to secure US market shares through threats and intimation rather than through innovation and competitive business strategies.  

Why two apparently “opposite” political candidates like Trump and Biden have indistinguishable foreign policies is easy to explain when considering these policies are generated and promoted by unelected corporate interests who influence US foreign policy regardless of who sits in either the White House or Congress. These are the very interests who see their market shares and the associated power and influence that comes from them under threat by rising Chinese competitors. Another indicator was US Secretary of State Anthony Bliken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s “tour” of the Indo-Pacific, including stops in South Korea and Japan. 

Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled, “Blinken and Austin in Japan to Bolster Asian Allies,” would claim: 

The Biden administration wants to prod Japan more on defense and resolve tensions between Tokyo and Seoul.

The article would cite an op-ed by Blinken and Austin in the Washington Post claiming: 

“Our combined power makes us stronger when we must push back against China’s aggression and threats,” Blinken and Austin wrote in a joint Washington Post op-ed, citing human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet, and China’s pushback on freedoms in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “If we don’t act decisively and lead, Beijing will.”

The deeply flawed notion that the US should “lead” in Asia rather than China – a nation actually residing in the region – is at the root of US-Chinese tensions – tensions driven entirely by Washington’s unreasonable pursuit of unwarranted influence in – even primacy over the Indo-Pacific Region. Foreign Policy would also note: 

…there is growing concern about how to nudge a politically wary Japan to boost its missile defenses, while hardening the U.S. presence that’s increasingly vulnerable to improving Chinese missiles.

And that: 

Japan already has Aegis-class destroyers equipped with SM-3 missiles offshore, which the United States helped develop, and is a co-producer in the F-35 program. But last June, Tokyo canceled delivery of the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile system, a shore-based missile-defense system, pushing instead to develop a domestically produced solution. That’s another area where the Pentagon may press the Japanese.

SM-3 missiles used on Aegis-class destroyers as well as with Aegis Ashore systems are manufactured by Raytheon – an arms manufacturer Lloyd Austin sat on the board of directors of until being brought in as Biden’s Secretary of Defense. 

In essence, a former Raytheon director will be selling missiles for Raytheon in his official capacity as Secretary of Defense – and based on the supposed threat of China – the largest economy and most populous nation in the region – “leading” rather than the US. 

To paper over the corruption at the very core of US foreign policy – the US pursues a propaganda war against China – citing manufactured and patently false claims of “repression” and “abuse” everywhere from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Xinjiang and Tibet. 

A 2019 US State Department strategy paper titles, “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision,” would repeat these false claims, stating: 

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) practices repression at home and abroad. Beijing is intolerant of dissent, aggressively controls media and civil society, and brutally suppresses ethnic and religious minorities. Such practices, which Beijing exports to other countries through its political and economic influence, undermine the conditions that have promoted stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for decades.

It is difficult to understand what “stability” and “prosperity” the US is referring to. 

It is amid China’s rise that the region enjoys unprecedented levels of both as well as accelerated development through projects built in cooperation with China – and all in stark contrast to the decades of war triggered by US interventions on the Korean Peninsula and all across Southeast Asia as part of its Vietnam War and adjacent military operations. 

These were conflicts that have left the region permanently scarred and in several instances – such as the residual impact of chemical weapons used in Vietnam or unexploded ordnance dropped by the US over nations like Laos – are still disfiguring and killing people to this day. 

Underneath this thin and peeling layer of US propaganda lies the truth of waning American primacy around the globe and the fundamental lack of interest by Washington and Wall Street to adjust US foreign policy toward a cooperative and constructive role among the nations of the world rather than unobtainable aspirations to dominate over all other nations. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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