US President Donald Trump recently suggested that the Coronavirus pandemic is the result of a 'horrible mistake' made by China. On Sunday, May 3 Trump stated that China sparked the outbreak before scrambling to cover it up.
Later, US senator Ted Cruz mentioned that America needs to reassess its relationship with China in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and stated that the country led by China Communist Party is the greatest geopolitical threat to the US.
China is a threat to US
During an interview, Sen Cruz said, "The most important long-term, national-security-informed policy consequence of this coronavirus pandemic is going to be a fundamental reassessment of the US' relationship with China," which according to him is the most significant geopolitical threat to the US for the next century.
While talking about China, the 49-year-old Cruz said in terms of the Coronavirus pandemic that has affected over 3.5 million people in the world, the Chinese government bears "enormous responsibility, enormous direct culpability for this pandemic." He also talked about the whistleblower doctors who tried to alert people in China during the initial stage of the Coronavirus outbreak, but "the Chinese government shut them up and punished them."
Cruz's comments came at the same time when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed to have received "enormous evidence" suggesting that the novel Coronavirus was originated in a Wuhan based lab. Even earlier Office of the Director of National Intelligence has confirmed that the US intelligence agencies have started an investigation to find out whether the COVID-19 is a result of an accidental escape from Wuhan lab or not.
As per previous reports, a senior intelligence official has revealed that as many as 70-75 percent, among 17 US intelligence agencies believe that the virus came from a laboratory, but the remaining agencies could not agree as there was no "smoking gun." But China has denied all these allegations and even said that Donald Trump has been trying to change the focus of how his government dealt with the situation to China's cover-up.
Can China be the next superpower?
It should be noted that China's strategic orientation has transformed from inward-looking and self-sufficient to outward-looking and coordination-oriented. The Coronavirus outbreak outside China is also evident in China's experience in early disastrous situations. In 1998 when a flood caused devastation in the mainland China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has insisted on continuing its longstanding practice – dealing off news of disaster and restricted the broadcast media from reporting negative news.
Pompeo told the foreign ministers of ASEAN on April 9 that China is taking advantage; amid global crisis to expand its reach in the South China Sea. Last week, reports revealed that China's surveillance vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat. The survey ship, Haiyang Dizhi 8 was first spotted off Vietnam and then started tagging a vessel operated by Malaysia's oil company Petronas.
It should be also noted that China opened two research stations on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) and Zamora (Subi) reefs last March 2020. Later in April, China declared that a Philippine territory as part of Hainan province, which is located at nation's southernmost point. On April 18, China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced that the State Council had approved the establishment of the Paracel (Xisha) and Spratly (Nansha) in the South China Sea as districts under Sansha city.
Meanwhile, Russia is also emerging as an ally of China which is among the few nations that sided with Beijing against its critics. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently mentioned that the Coronavirus crisis served as "further evidence of the special nature of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive strategic partnership." But still, to become a superpower, China needs support from Europe which has a choice to make between Beijing and Washington.