There is a strong anti-China current being promoted in right-wing circles and some neo-liberal ones in light of the coronavirus epidemic.
These forces are seeking to redirect real criticisms of globalization – deindustrialization, stolen intellectual property, and trade deficits – and utilize them for support for regime change operations and possibly even war against China for the financial self-interest of a few American oligarchs. It’s similar to how anti-immigration sentiment was swerved into concerns about Islam’s illiberalism in hopes of advancing Israeli interests in Europe and promoting neo-conservative wars in America.
While the Trump government’s tariffs are a welcome policy in the national interest, it also refuses to fix any of the domestic problems that allow for China to always win due to the plutocratic stranglehold American capitalists have on the US government.
The US elite is divided on China. On the one hand, there is a steadily weakening wing that seeks to continue America’s relationship with the Asian superpower in hopes of keeping a foot in the door and gradually liberalizing it.
On the other side of the debate, there are figures like George Soros, Peter Thiel, and disgraced and exiled billionaire criminal Guo Wengui who see the Chinese pseudo-National Socialist system as antifragile in the face of the passive liberal subversion that helped take down the Soviet Union.
Neither Soros, Thiel, Trump or Wengui are interested in combating globalization, but only in destroying what they perceive to be a barrier to it. For Soros, he shrouds his personal financial interest thwarted by the Chinese state in the language of “human rights” familiar to the liberal-left. Thiel has tapped a number of “alt” right-wing personalities and phony populists to try and construct a civilizational and even implicitly racial clash narrative to support his business interests in India and America. Wengui’s weapon has been Steve Bannon, who has been making his appeal to whoever will have him as a neo-con jingo, reviving silly language about “liberating” the Chinese people even though we Americans have no freedom ourselves.
Anti-China? Yes. Pro-America? No.
It’s easy to mistake the discourse of China hawks for sincere patriotism. While Donald Trump ran on a platform of bringing American industry home, the Trump administration’s actual policies in recent years have not achieved this.