Is neo-McCarthyism what US elites want to see?

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/17 17:03:36

Noted economist and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs has stirred a hornet's nest by calling the United States a threat to the international rule of law. US scholars ripped into the academic after he wrote an article on the case surrounding Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, headlined: "The US, not China, is the real threat to international rule of law."

Apparently irritated by the political incorrectness of the article, Isaac Stone Fish, journalist and contributing columnist for The Washington Post Global Opinions, aggressively questioned Sachs on Twitter: "Did Huawei pay you for that?" Furthermore, he even demanded that Sachs state his position on China's Xinjiang governance: "Would you mind explaining to me how condemning concentration camps in Xinjiang is 'anti-China vitriol'?"

Isaac is not the only one to criticize Sachs who was grilled on Twitter by US scholars accusing him of being a "Chinese paid talking head" or "remarkably naive." It is quite astonishing. These scholars are not really discussing Sachs' opinion, but using groundless charges to attack the professor. Are US academic circles taking the lead in bringing in a new Cold War with China?

During the McCarthy era, many Americans were accused of being Communists, Communist sympathizers, committing subversion or treason without evidence. Now that Sachs is besieged with blame, is it an indication that an era of neo-McCarthyism is emerging? In an address at the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York in early December, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd warned Washington of its rising neo-McCarthyism. Do US elites really want to see a full-blown China-US confrontation?

US mainstream media and scholars always use ideological censorship to blame China. But Sachs' current predicament confuses Chinese people. We should be vigilant that the trade dispute has already spilled into US public domain, and among intellectuals and academics. China is now facing a new round of reform and opening-up, and Beijing always welcomes mutual all-round cooperation. But it seems the US doesn't want to cooperate. Washington is treating China in an extreme way. Whoever supports China is to hurt the US' interests, and whatever the Chinese government does to benefit its development riles Washington. This will never help bring Beijing-Washington relations back on track.

First American president George Washington said in 1783: "If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter… dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter." More than two centuries have passed: Will the US set back the wheel of history?

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