Editor’s note for Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear Access member,

On both sides of the Pacific, Chinese and American scholars and foreign policy types are calling for a cessation of verbal hostilities:

  • The South China Morning Post reports that a “group of 100 [prominent] Chinese scholars has signed an open letter calling on the United States and China to put an end to their political blame game and work together to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.”
  • According to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), “A large group of prominent American foreign-policy experts, including former high-ranking White House officials from both parties, is calling on the Trump administration to work more closely with China to stem the coronavirus epidemic.”  

It’s hard to be optimistic about U.S.-China cooperation right now. All the old irritants from the trade war to the growing list of human rights abuses under Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 are still there. And COVID-19 has given Donald Trump and his minions a strong motivation to blame China for everything. See, for example, these headlines from Fox News:

As it always does with Fox News, things get worse: See Tucker Carlson: Chinese students studying in America are “the children of the people who are trying to displace us” on Media Matters for America.

Our word of the day is martyrs in the fight against the novel coronavirus (抗击新冠肺炎疫情斗争牺牲烈士 kàngjī xīnguān fèiyán yìqíng dòuzhēng xīshēng lièshì).

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief