It's time for Biden's team to partner with China to cope with virus crisis, economy

By Li Hong Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/22 16:53:12

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Facing a voracious round of assault from the coronavirus and an economy in doldrums because of the health crisis, the incoming US administration of Joe Biden is hoped to chart a new course of policy interventions - categorically different from the inertia displayed by Donald Trump's team. 

Seeking China's material help and rich experiences to contain the infectious disease and rescue a faltering American economy is equally important for the new US government. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has congratulated Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris for winning the US general election, which is widely seen as extending an olive branch to the incoming Biden administration in the backdrop of the worn-out confrontations between the two countries that were caused by Trump's protracted trade war. 

With 306 electoral votes and more than 79 million popular votes in hand, Biden is, irrevocably, the 46th US president, despite the ongoing farcical stalemate in which Trump has refused to concede his defeat. 

China and the Chinese people hope the US can settle their domestic political tussle soon, and concentrate the country's resources on controlling the coronavirus pandemic that is raising its ugly head and devouring hundreds of American lives each day. 

Biden has spoken out that it is senseless and irresponsible of the Trump administration not to help with a smooth power transition and jump all-in to combat the coronavirus to upend the human tragedy unfolding there.

To control the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and other parts of the world, China and US, the world's two dominant economic powers, should put down their acrimonies and start earnest collaboration in good will. Demonizing China or slinging dirt on Chinese people will never help to stop the flare-up of infections and fatalities in America.

If the two nations could have aligned in the research and development of effective virus medications and vaccines, proliferated life-saving medical equipment and kept open vital supply chains in the past months, instead of the opposite, many lives in the US and elsewhere would have been saved. 

It's also important to follow science to deal with the health crisis, just like what Biden has affirmed on many occasions in recent days. The anti-human heinous voice in the US suggesting ultra-rightists behead top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci must be stopped. 

It is imperative to reinstall an effective federal leadership in the US that knows how to cope with a severe crisis of this magnitude. China's experiences are impressive in curtailing the pandemic, and China's unparalleled ability in manufacturing PPEs and producing vaccine vials and freezers should not be neglected and could be made use of by the Biden government.

As to the policies of his new administration, the world pins high hopes on him tossing out the old-fashioned and selfish "America First" doctrine, restoring multilateralism and cooperation with the whole world - particularly stopping the reckless and brutal ideological and economic fight between US and China, which many have likened to a new "cold war". 

Trade between the two largest economies has stalled rapidly in the past two years due to additional punitive duties imposed by Trump on Chinese goods, as well retaliatory tariffs levied on US goods by China. It is universally known that high tariffs cripple normal trade, disrupt the supply chains that all manufacturers rely on and make ordinary people's lives harder as tariffs translate to punishing commodity prices.

Now there are growing signs of distress for many US companies and consumers due to Trump's tariffs war. American high-tech companies relying on exports to China are hurt too, because of Trump administration's restrictions and bans on semiconductor chips and software sales to dozens of leading Chinese technology companies.

The beauty or irreplaceability of China lies in this country's huge market scale. The diligence and creativity of Chinese people is a big benefit. 

Despite Trump's massive trade war and numerous sanctioning measures in the past four years, this country's economy has kept on growing, still at a sizzling pace. The IMF has estimated it will be the only major economy to eke out a growth in 2020, and next year, the $15 trillion Chinese economy will grow by 8.2 percent, or even higher.

Economic confrontations with China chosen by Trump's team failed to do the US, or any country in this world, any good. The buying power of Chinese businesses and Chinese households should never be diminished or looked down upon. Australia and Canada, the two hardcore allies of the US who are very unfriendly toward China, have received a bitter lesson from Beijing. Don't trample on Chinese people's bottom lines, otherwise they will bite back.

Now, a flurry of US multinational companies have vehemently opposed Trump's so-called "economic decoupling" attempt, as they know perfectly well they could not find another giant and growing market like China's. So the incoming Biden administration needs to ponder its new policies, to reverse the course of the tumultuous policies of the past four years trumpeted by Trump. 

The author is an editor with the Global Times.


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