Blaming China won't solve America's problems
A Way Out and Forward
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese government believes that the prevention and control of COVID-19 is a major test for China's system and capacity for governance, which has brought both experience and lessons. Despite difficulties and shortcomings experienced by China in its initial encounter with COVID-19, China has made decisive progress in fighting the invisible enemy. Human beings make progress by getting wise from mistakes. With a huge population of 1.4 billion, China has vowed to draw lessons from the ordeal and further reform and improve its preparedness to deal with similar events in the future.
In the same vein, global governance has been put to a test in face of the pandemic. The coronavirus knows no borders, nationalities, or beliefs. The pandemic takes a toll not only on life and health but also on economy, society and politics. The spread of the virus around the globe is destabilizing and introduces many uncertainties. In medical terms, until a vaccine is ready, a cluster of cases in one country may leave the health and safety of another in danger. No country can weather the unprecedented pandemic crisis alone. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres put it, "This is, above all, a human crisis that calls for solidarity." World leaders must come together and offer an urgent & coordinated global response, he said, "More than ever before, we need solidarity, hope and the political will to see this through together."
As the world's two largest economies, UN Security Council permanent members and major players in many multilateral institutions, the US and China have shared interests and responsibilities in prioritizing cooperation over competition and avoiding tensions and conflicts. Just imagine how consequential for the world it will be for the US and China to pull together and join hands with other countries to work out a collective and coordinated response ensuring cross-border supplies of medical products and food, collaboration in research into treatment and vaccines, as well as economic rescue packages.
As Henry Kissinger recently argued, today's leaders should choose a path of cooperation that will lead toward improved international resilience. A review of history shows that the US and China, despite their persistent differences, have worked together on major global issues, such as nuclear nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, climate change, energy security, the 2008 international financial crisis, Ebola, etc. Fighting the spread of COVID-19, which is termed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations, should be a point of rally rather than conflict for the US and China. There might be a thousand reasons for the two countries to embark on a path of cooperation, but not a single one to leave the bilateral relation drifting astray.
To begin with, stop the blame game.