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Is this China's global leadership moment?

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06.04.2020


By Keyu Jin

BEIJING ― When he welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing's Forbidden City in 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed to the character "peace" in the names of all three halls of the great complex, emphasizing the Confucian maxim "Peace is prized above all."

The world needs to adhere to that idea now more than ever, but its two leading powers are at loggerheads at the worst possible time. Anti-Chinese sentiment permeates American society, and a popular saying in China these days is that if you are not angry at America, you are not patriotic.

Sino-American tensions have become so severe that it can seem as if only an attack on Earth by extra-terrestrials could ease them. Seen from this perspective, perhaps we ought to regard the COVID-19 pandemic as the attack we need. Rather than continuing to engage in a blame game and finger-pointing, which accomplish nothing, China and the United States should be collaborating to find a vaccine or a cure.

The COVID-19 crisis offers both countries a possible path from recrimination to reconciliation. In particular, the pandemic gives China a rare opportunity to address its strategic dilemmas as a rising power, above all its struggle to win the trust of the U.S. and other leading powers. Through actions rather than words, China's leaders can rebuild the country's international image on the basis of a moral imperative rather than geopolitical interests.

The world suddenly finds itself mired in a health crisis, an economic crisis, and a liquidity crisis.........

© The Korea Times