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Opinion: A new trick to defame the CPC and China

China Plus Published: 2020-07-22 19:38:16

By Wang Xiao

The U.S. government is reportedly considering a sweeping ban on travel to the country by members of the Communist Party of China and their families. Reports say that a draft presidential proclamation would also revoke visas and expel those already in the U.S. The move is seen as an extreme measure that could further worsen relations between Washington and Beijing.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Washington. [File photo: AP/Evan Vucci]

U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Washington. [File photo: AP/Evan Vucci]

With close to 93 million CPC members, the White House is considering placing sanctions on at least 300 million Chinese. Experts are questioning the feasibility of the proposed plan due to the unprecedented scale and lack of implementation details. They believe that this is another political stunt staged by the Trump administration in a reelection year.

Make no mistake. The real purpose of the proposed travel ban goes far beyond making global headlines. The White House intends to alienate Chinese people from the CPC by stirring up confrontational sentiment.

The U.S. has always accused the CPC of imposing a one-party system, but China’s political ecology has no equivalent in the Western world and suits its national conditions. This was even confirmed by a recent Harvard University study that found that Chinese citizens rate the government as more capable and effective than ever before, and they are satisfied with the real changes in their material well-being.

CPC members come from all walks of life, and most are ordinary citizens doing ordinary work. Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., said in a joint interview with Axios and HBO, if you attack the CPC, the vast majority of Chinese people will think you are attacking them. They are inseparable.

Why is the White House singling out the CPC? Hardline and conservative political elites in the U.S., whether they are government officials or members of Congress, simply use “Communist China” instead of “China”. By deliberately drawing a line between China’s mainland and Hong Kong or Taiwan, they highlight the differences between the Chinese and American systems.

As Professor Cheung Yung-nien at the National University of Singapore pointed out, the U.S. is playing identity politics, dragging its allies and friends into its fight with China. It has packaged the differences as a conflict between democracy and dictatorship, a clash of civilizations, good versus evil, West against East. The truth, however, is that it’s purely a confrontation between a dominant power and a rising country.

Furthermore, this is reflected in the case of Huawei. The U.S. has launched a technological ‘Cold War’ against China by suppressing Chinese high-tech companies and restricting their development. It has also pressured its allies not to use Huawei, which is evidenced by the UK reversing its policy this week to eject Huawei from its 5G rollout.

Being tough on China is the consensus of the two political parties in the United States and containing the country has become Washington’s long-term strategy. The Thucydides’s Trap seems inevitable. The reality is that China is pursuing its own development to improve its population’s well-being, not to replace the U.S. as the sole superpower. Like every country, China has the right to build a modernized, strong and prosperous country. The U.S. must make a “fundamental choice” about whether it’s ready to live peacefully with another country that has a different cultural, political and economic system.

The world today is interdependent. There are complex common interests between China and the U.S., and a healthy bilateral relationship is of great global significance. Therefore, leaders from both sides must find a way to manage the rivalry and to avoid confrontation.

A travel ban on CPC members and their family will not stigmatize the party in the eyes of the Chinese people. It will only serve as a reminder that the U.S. administration is exhausting all means at its disposal to defame a rising China and suppress its development.

Note: Wang Xiao is a journalist with China Plus and a former Australia correspondent of CRI. The article reflects the author’s own views.

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