China May Leave US behind in Post-Coronavirus World: Political Scientist
- April, 25, 2020 - 12:50
- Politics news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political scientist said China may be able to leave the US behind in the post-coronavirus world if it manages to recover economically.
“This could happen if China, having taken national unified action on the pandemic is able to economically recover and the US has a harder time, especially since Trump refuses to develop and institute a federal response, Beau Grosscup, California State University Professor Emeritus of Political Science, told Tasnim when asked if China could win over the post-coronavirus world and leave the US behind
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he's instructed the US Navy to “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian gunboats “harassing” American ships, in the wake of a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf. “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump tweeted. What is your take on this?
Grosscup: Trump's statement 'shoot down and destroy' can be interpreted in two ways, both consistent with the Trump Administration's continuous demonization of Iran to rally US citizens against the 'image of the aggressor,' a staple of US foreign policy. First, he is playing to the popular assumption that the 'other' is the aggressor (so Iran must be 'harassing' the US ships because that is what aggressors do) and the US, as the benevolent power, only responds. On the other hand, his actual words 'if they harass our ships' (again they probably will) but we will not respond in kind, we will escalate the conflict (because we dominate every rung of the escalation ladder) and destroy them. Either way, (having it both ways) Trump seeks to rally public sentiment behind his unilateral, 'reactive' policy of regime change in Iran. From US point of view, the only way out is for Iran to surrender.
Tasnim: The threat came after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) successfully launched and placed the country’s first military satellite into the orbit. Do you think Trump is seeking to undermine this breakthrough? What are your thoughts on the launch?
Grosscup: The successful launch of a military satellite is Iran's first shot in the so-called 'space wars' or militarization of space. The US has hoped to monopolize this endeavor; thus Iran is a threat to US plans. It is obvious that the US wants to stop this development, not via negotiations but by another rationale for 'regime change.'
Tasnim: It seems that he is also trying to divert attention from his poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis. What do you think?
Grosscup: President Trump doesn't view his handling of the COVID-19 as 'poor' and he is intent on proving to the world and especially US public that others are to blame for the expanding disaster. One dimension of doing so is to show leadership in other areas. Former US presidents (true of most 'leaders') have always understood that a foreign policy 'success' can often alter the public opinion of them, especially when accusations of failure in other areas are made during an election year. Trump is no different, but he is particularly sensitive to criticism, so any diversion to COVID-19 is central to his 'thinking.'
Tasnim: There are predictions that China could win over the post-coronavirus world and leave the US behind. How this could happen?
Grosscup: This could happen if China, having taken national unified action on the pandemic is able to economically recover and the US has a harder time, especially since Trump refuses to develop and institute a federal response. However, in the short term, even if China does well economically, the US still has the military advantage and could in a desperate attempt to forestall the rise of China, use that advantage with devastating results. In the end, it is possible the future is a combined virus pandemic and superpower war.