As U.S. President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden escalate their rhetoric about who is best suited to deal with Beijing, “Who’s ‘tough on China’ has taken on a broader political meaning, with a fight not just about long-standing trade and labor concerns, but also a global health pandemic originating in that country and whether the U.S. response was adequate,” says NPR.
Today was Senator Mitt Romney’s turn to talk tough, with an op-ed in the Washington Post (porous paywall) titled “America is awakening to China. This is a clarion call to seize the moment.” The piece calls the alarm on everything from China’s military buildup in the Pacific to American dependency on China for pharmaceuticals. “As a first step, President Trump was right to blow the whistle on Xi and apply tariffs,” argues Romney. “But we must go a good deal further.”
See also: “How coronavirus changes the political outlook in China and the U.S.” in the Washington Post (porous paywall) by scholar Jessica Chen Weiss.
The fierce words and a growing sense of American unease with the P.R.C. are making life uncomfortable for anyone who looks Chinese in the United States. Here is a partial selection of relevant stories from the last few days:
- Coronavirus reminds Asian Americans belonging is conditional / LA Times (porous paywall)
- NYC Human Rights Commission forms COVID-19 team after Anti-Asian discrimination skyrockets / Gothamist
- Asian American doctor on experiencing racism during the coronavirus pandemic, feeling ‘powerless’ in helping patients / WBUR
- Asian Americans already face a mental health crisis. Coronavirus racism could make it worse. / Inquirer
- ‘Reality is hitting me in the face’: Asian Americans grapple with racism due to COVID-19 / WHYY
- Jeannie Mai grew up too aware of Asian racism, and is standing up to hate in America now / Harper’s Bazaar
- Anti-Asian racism is on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic / Vox