On January 21st 2021, China, following the example of countries such as Iran, placed fresh sanctions on individuals who have served in the Trump administration after Biden’s recent inauguration. This included some of Trump’s closest allies and advisors, such as the former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trade advisor Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon, Former National Security Advisor John Bolton and his successor Robert O’Brien, Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, and Former US Ambassador to UN Kelly Craft. The sanctions included the complete restriction for the listed individuals to travel to Hong Kong, Macao, and other parts of China, as well as forbid them to be able to engage in business in China. This comes after the US interfered with the internal affairs of Hong Kong during 2019’s anti-extradition law riots, and also having placed sanctions against companies who employed Uyghurs in Xinjiang. This also follows a recent decision by Twitter to take down a tweet from the Chinese Embassy which was promoting women’s liberation & rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
China’s foreign ministry elaborated that the US had “planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermining China’s interests, offended the Chinese people and seriously disrupted China-US relations”
Predictably, due to the grandstanding of American politicians, the Biden Administration have opted for unity between themselves and the Republicans. They followed in the footsteps of the previous administration and took shots at China for introducing the fresh sanctions when Joe Biden’s brand new National Security Council Spokeswoman Emily Horne commented; “American’s of both parties should criticize this unproductive and cynical move. President Biden looks forward to working with leaders in both parties to position America to out-compete China”.
It is becoming increasingly clear that America has lost the right to call itself ‘the most Democratic country on Earth’. Before the Coronavirus pandemic heavily impacted the socio-economic and politics of the America, the political hubris the USA outwardly projects had been one of America’s greatest strengths in terms of projecting it’s hard power onto the world, and it’s greatest weakness in terms of its domestic policies. This was evidenced by the leaked documents by Wikileaks, as well as Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance, and the greenlit ‘Operation Shotgiant’ which had the National Security Agency plant backdoors in Huawei’s devices and hacked it’s servers. These hacks facilitated the infiltration of the computer networks of Huawei customers in “high-priority target” countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya and Cuba; as well as the spying on of email communications of people who worked in Huawei.
The gap between the rich and the poor has exacerbated with austerity measures, corporations reining over the government, and budget cuts continuing across education and infrastructure, bailing out and printing more money for the bankers instead of punishing them for taking over small businesses, as well as privatising healthcare with zero regulations Weapons manufacturers, think-tanks, and the media have been itching to find reasons to invade another country for profits. The facade of “liberating the barbarians” again being used, something that could lead to a refugee crisis similar to how the Obama administration and his allies were woefully unequipped to handle the self inflicted refugee crisis that led to right wing extremism and xenophobic voices. It was this, as well as the economic frustrations of those in the rust belt area, which allowed Trump’s populism to take hold in America and allow him to become the 45th President of the United States.
The United States military in 2020 have received around 700 million in defense bills out of the 1.4 trillion spending deal (China only spent 250 million, despite the larger geographical size and population), with both Republicans and Democrats seeming to have given each other the thumbs up, with the small caveat from the Democrats being that they didn’t like that some of the funding was going to the border wall that Trump had promised to his voters 4 years ago. What’s more is that the wars that the US started and the horror that they have unleashed more than 20 years ago will not end, and the deficit will continue to rise resulting in tax increases, burrowing public expenditure funding through war bonds, as well as more burden placed on the taxpayers.
In terms of human rights, the American Justice system is comprehensive, yet cannot offer retributive fairness to minorities and black people, whilst America likes to lecture other countries about locking “dissidents” up with their “camps”. America, statistically speaking, has the most incarceration per capita with 655 out of 100,000, more than China who has 4 times the population and is being scrutinized at every turn by the US and its allies through the lens of human rights, yet has 118 out of 100,000 incarcerated.
With the think-tanks paid by the weapons manufacturers and media organisations such as RFA and VOA, as well as publications such as NYT and the Guardian, scapegoating China is incredibly easy and effective to sell to their audiences. Intentionally hyping up misinformation about ‘Uyghur genocide’ – as well as the oppression of the Hong Kong protestors during the 2019’s anti-extradition bill – a narrative that has been thoroughly debunked by informed netizens as well as investigative journalist organisation the Grayzone with many referencing previous efforts to manufacture consent for intervention, such as the genocide claims to the Kuwait fake baby incubators levied against Iraq or the American man pretending to be a gay Syrian girl in Damascus
But you won’t find those same media and think-tanks empowering the indigenous communities with education and lifting them out of the poverty in their own countries by pressuring their governments and multinational corporations to stop exploiting their lands and poisoning their waters, as well as celebrating the dates when the settler-colonialists invaded and reduced the indigenous populations to a mere 5% of the populations in Canada. Australia is even worse when only 3.3% of the populations are indigenous. Meanwhile, in China, Uyghurs and Tibetans enjoy population and economic growth across decades.