The previous post alluded to several actions that could be taken to help build trust and some semblance of a healthy relationship between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China. In this post, we will explore them in greater depth and identify which would be most beneficial, why they would be beneficial, and how they could be implemented.
The most immediate and, therefore, relevant issue that faces both nations currently is the COVID-19 pandemic. China was the first nation to be hit by the virus that originated in the Wuhan province, and dealt with much of the initial fallout. According to their reports, they have largely contained the virus since, although some questions have been raised about whether or not the Chinese government is being honest about their numbers. On the other hand, the United States has the largest number of cases and deaths. According to Johns Hopkins University the U.S. has had over 8 million cases and nearly 220,000 deaths at the time of this writing. The global economy has suffered and the allegations that China is lying about their numbers has not helped U.S./China relations. The sooner the pandemic ends, the better for all. The United States could and should reach out to China regarding development of a potential vaccine and therapeutic treatments that could be used to save lives and bring the pandemic to a swifter close. The two nations’ top medical professionals should work together to determine what works and what does not. In addition, the U.S. should reach out to China to discuss additional information about how the virus spreads and how different preventative methods will work against it. Finally, President Trump (or Biden depending on November’s elections) should not antagonize China over the virus or openly accuse them of lying. China should not be blamed for the virus in public by top U.S. officials and those who have done so publicly should issue public apologies to the Chinese government to attempt to mend some of the broken trust.
An additional action alluded to in my previous post is to work with the Chinese government to work toward clearing much of the space-debris currently in low-earth orbit. This would require good and frequent communication between the nations. An American ambassador or diplomat should be designated to take the issue of clearing space debris to the Chinese government and communicate fairly and openly with them regarding the issue. Once the Chinese government has agreed to the need to clear debris, NASA and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) could discuss the forming of a joint space operation to track debris. They could then send diverse recovery teams of Chinese and Americans to begin to clear the identified and tagged debris. Such a joint operation could be long lasting, allowing time for the nations to build trust between one another and would mutually benefit both of them.
Finally, the United States and her leaders could simply maintain a personal policy of not speaking negatively about China so publicly and so frequently. While China is a potential rival, they are not yet our enemy and speaking about them as such could lead to complications in the future. American leaders should be more discerning when speaking about China and refer to them as a potential partner on mutually concerning issues, rather than an enemy.
COVID-19 Map. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html