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The Atlantic analyst to media, critics: Coronavirus pandemic has proven Trump right about China and multilateral orgs

Added 04-06-20 04:35:07pm EST - “Plus: Trump admin weighing legal action against China for hoarding PPE?” -


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From “The Atlantic analyst to media, critics: Coronavirus pandemic has proven Trump right about China and multilateral orgs”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The European Union’s member states have already begun to grasp the latter argument. It’s time for the US and especially its media class to understand it too, argues Nadia Schadlow in The Atlantic, as well as the malign intent of China on the world stage. Rather than focus on the true villain of the coronavirus pandemic, the media and Trump’s critics are obsessing over their dislike for the president — and are missing the real stories and lessons because of it:

Trump has been criticized for supposedly overturning the post–World War II order and rejecting the role the United States has long played in the world. Amid a global pandemic, he’s being accused—on this site and elsewhere—of alienating allies, undercutting multinational cooperation, and causing America to fight the coronavirus alone.

And yet even as the current emergency has proved him right in fundamental ways—about China specifically and foreign policy more generally—many respectable people in the United States are letting their disdain for the president blind them to what is really going on in the world. Far from discrediting Trump’s point of view, the COVID-19 crisis reveals what his strategy asserted: that the world is a competitive arena in which great power rivals like China seek advantage, that the state remains the irreplaceable agent of international power and effective action, that international institutions have limited capacity to transform the behavior and preferences of states.

These two issues are inextricably connected, Schadlow argues, because people did recognize the potential for communist China’s regime to act malevolently. They simply trusted the power of multilateral organizations like the UN, the World Trade Organization, and WHO to keep them in check and to force transparency. Instead, China has warped those functions through aggressive application of pressure and influence, and relentlessly pursued their national interests at the expense of everyone else.

This was clear enough for nearly two decades, Schadlow writes, only most people were too polite to discuss it — until the COVID-19 pandemic changed all the calculations:


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