Excerpt from wikipedia
See also: Second Cold War
Michael D. Swaine argued in 2019 that:The U.S.-China relationship is confronting its most daunting challenge in the forty years since the two countries established diplomatic ties. Current trends portend steadily worsening relations over the long term, with increasingly adverse consequences for all actors involved. Specifically, Beijing and Washington are transitioning from a sometimes contentious yet mutually beneficial relationship to an increasingly antagonistic, mutually destructive set of interactions. The often positive and optimistic forces, interests, and beliefs that sustained bilateral ties for decades are giving way to undue pessimism, hostility, and a zero-sum mindset in almost every area of engagement.
According to two experts on US-China relations, Professor Rosemary Foot at Oxford University and Senior Lecturer Amy King at Australian National University, the consensus of experts is that:The relationship began to deteriorate in the second decade of the 21st century, and that the Trump administration has accelerated the deterioration. Explanations…have ranged over a large number of factors, all of which have played some role. Some relate to changes in official personnel in both the United States and China, others to the shifts and relative power between the two countries after the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, and yet others to China’s greater determination to reform global governance institutions and to play more of a global leadership role.
Foot and King emphasize China’s aggressive efforts in developing cutting-edge technologies with significant military and commercial implications, while the United States sees the need to defend itself aggressively against technological theft.
According to Hong Kong economics professor Lawrence J. Lau, a major cause of the deterioration is the growing battle between China and the U.S. for global economic and technological dominance. More generally, he argues, “It is also a reflection of the rise of populism, isolationism, nationalism and protectionism almost everywhere in the world, including in the US.”
Following this hard-line approach to China, in 2019, a report of U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission suggested that everyone should stop calling the Chinese leader Xi Jinping by his title of “President,” under Xi’s one-party leadership and instead use the term General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.
On 18 February 2020, the US government announced five Chinese media firms[note 2] would be designated “foreign missions,” requiring them to be legally registered with the US government as a foreign government entity. China, in the same month, took action against three American journalists with the Wall Street Journal by revoking their press credentials over a coronavirus opinion column which their paper had run. According to China, the column was racist and libelous. On 18 March, China announced the expulsion of American journalists working for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, stating the expulsion was “in the spirit of reciprocity” for US’s “foreign mission” designation of the five Chinese media firms. On 8 May, the US moved Chinese citizens at non-American news outlets from open-ended work visas to extendable 90-day work visas.
Americans, especially older Republican voters, took an increasingly negative view of China and of Xi Jinping during the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing economic, human-rights, and environmental concerns.
By May 2020 relations had deteriorated as both sides were accusing the other of guilt for the worldwide coronavirus epidemic. Washington has mobilized a campaign of investigations, prosecutions and export restrictions. Beijing, meanwhile, has stepped up military activities in the contested South China Sea, and launched denunciations of American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and publicly speculating that the American military deliberately unleashed the virus in China. In the growing aspersion, on 15 May 2020, the US blocked shipments of semi-conductors to Huawei, while China, for its part, has threatened to place Apple, Boeing, and other US firms on “unreliable entities” lists, and has blamed the US government of using state power under the excuse of national security, and of abusing export control measures to continuously oppress and contain specific enterprises of other countries. Orville Schell, the director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society, summed up the situation as follows: “The consequences of the breakdown in US-China relations is going to be very grave for the world and for the global economy because the ability of the US and China to work together was the keystone of the whole arch of globalization and global trade. With that pulled out, there’s going to be a tremendous amount of disturbance.”
American polls show the public has increasingly negative views of China.
On June 17, 2020, President Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which authorizes the imposition of U.S. sanctions against Chinese government officials responsible for detention camps holding more than 1 million members of the country’s Uyghur Muslim minority. On July 9, 2020, the Trump administration imposed sanctions and visa restrictions against senior Chinese officials, including Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s powerful Politburo.
The killing of George Floyd and the BLM movement brought the Chinese media to compare the American protests to the HK protests and used this situation in the US as evidence that the democratic system is two-faced.
In July 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray called China the “greatest long-term threat” to the United States. He said that “the FBI is now opening a new China-related counterintelligence case every 10 hours. Of the nearly 5,000 active counterintelligence cases currently under way across the country, almost half are related to China.”
Also in July, according to the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, the United States ordered China to “cease all operations and events” at its consulate in Houston. Although a detailed reason was not immediately made public, spokespeople for the U.S. State Department said it was prompted by the need “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information” after years of China’s “spying.”
On 20 July 2020, the United States sanctioned 11 Chinese companies, restricting any trade deal with America upon their alleged involvement in human rights violations in Xinjiang, China. US authorities said that China uses Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in forced labor.