That Joe Biden did not reinvent the wheel in Donald Trump’s conflicted relationship with China was a certain truism after the Democrats’ victory over Republicans in November 2020.
That the new president has even recycled the dispute over the origin of the new coronavirus from his predecessor’s arsenal, it brings analytical sobriety to those who still have illusions about “good” and “bad”, mandatory citations , in American politics.
First of all, we obviously have to differentiate what Biden has asked his intelligence agencies to investigate from the asset conveyed on social networks since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, early last year.
Democrat wants to know if Sars-CoV-2 passed from an animal (bat? Pangolin? Both? Other?) To humans or if it may have accidentally escaped from the Institute of Virology from Wuhan in China.
The doubt is honest, and it is the subject of speculation which has grown stronger with the discovery that cases of illness similar to Covid-19 were registered at the agency before the start of the pandemic.
Trump nurtured this version throughout the pandemic, leaving the most delusional version of the theory to his social media cronies: the virus was man-made with warlike intent, to take advantage of economic position Chinese.
As is known, this idea was recently spelled out by President Jair Bolsonaro, showing that Trump may have been kicked out of the White House, but Trump lives well there.
The WHO (World Health Organization) investigation into the case, which it considered an “extremely unlikely” laboratory incident, is in itself reprehensible.
The agency’s dealings with China and its initial handling of information about the pandemic have always been the target of reparations, and not just radical populists. Even fake news also came out of Beijing, with clues to a US origin of the virus.
Having said that, it is clear that US agencies will not be able to make much headway in this area, given the degree of closure of the Beijing dictatorship, just as it is clear that for Biden, this ultimately does not matter. importance. What matters is keeping China under pressure.
Subtext of this new chapter of the Cold War 2.0 between the two largest economies in the world, the American institutional gentleness, still delighted that the embarrassing Trump is no longer in charge, is striking.
The giant Facebook, for example, has decided that it will no longer use its fake postage stamp for posts suggesting the origin of the virus in a laboratory accident.
The argument should be obvious: unlike what has happened so far with chloroquine, ineffective against Covid-19 according to a myriad of studies, the question of the jump of Sars-CoV-2 to humans has always been somewhat fuzzy.
But the impression is that if the proponent was Trump again, nothing would happen in the social network’s rules of engagement.
Biden’s aggressiveness towards the Chinese colossus, however, reflects an inescapable fact of the 21st century: the United States is the established power and China is the emerging rival.
Washington is far from seeing the game tilt in favor of the Chinese, given the size of its economy and its military might, but maintaining the status quo requires as much vigilance as it does alarmism.
And this is where the suspicions, verifiable or not, of the negligence of Wuhan technicians to study the insidious coronaviruses which abound among our bats cousins come in.
While the theme is vital to understanding the pandemic that has killed more than 3.5 million people, it is the central geopolitical struggle of our time that guides Biden’s contention.