fredag 3. juli 2020

The true cost of a new confrontation with China

China's response to the coronavirus outbreak has provided a pretext for some in Washington to spar even more openly with Beijing. Top White House advisor Peter Navarro accused the Chinese government of exploiting the pandemic to advance its interests, and one senator even claimed that China is "trying to sabotage" America's search for a vaccine and is bent on "world domination." Steve Bannon, the mastermind of President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, attributed the death of George Floyd, in large part, to China's misdeeds.

This cartoonish depiction of villainy might be dismissed as campaign season hyperbole if it weren't informing real policy proposals. And if lawmakers wanted to find the most wasteful, counterproductive and inflammatory way to confront China, they couldn't do much better than the newly proposed Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) -- a multi-billion-dollar defense-spending initiative aimed at countering China's rise.