Cooperate with US states on virus fight, not federal government

By Hu Xijin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/19 15:48:57

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US federal government is way too mean toward China. President Donald Trump and his cabinet members and high officials have intensified their efforts to slander China. China needs to take necessary actions and express its strong dissatisfaction.

My advice is to focus China-US anti-epidemic cooperation with US states, while giving the federal government a cold shoulder. Specifically, China should fulfill US states' purchase orders for emergency medical materials before dealing with those from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the US Department of Homeland Security. This is a price that the Trump administration needs to pay.

FEMA has reportedly been fighting for overseas medical supplies with several state authorities and several times poached their orders, which has provoked widespread discontent within the US.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in late March accused FEMA of fueling an "eBay"-style bidding war with the states. And a National Public Radio report on Wednesday also listed many states' complaints and fury at FEMA.

We should in no way let Washington feel that China is a push-over. As the November election looms, they are making China a target that can be wantonly assaulted in order to divert domestic anger. China should give priority to US states' orders not reduce the total volume of exports to the US. This change is enough to show Washington our anger.

China will continue humanitarian cooperation with the US but won't ignore how Washington has sabotaged it. We should use our actions to demonstrate our attitude.

Since Washington is acting this way, there is no need for China to stick to our past mind-set and put limits on ourselves. Let Washington make trouble and let it decouple from China. The international standing of China is built on strength. Let's wait and see what Washington can do to us.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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