While there are many who find themselves wondering if we are in the midst of a new Cold War with China, there are other questions that need to be asked. For starters, hasn’t this always been the case? We cannot remember a time when the relationship between the United States and China was absolutely perfect.
Vice President Mike Pence was asked about the situation by Hugh Hewitt recently and his answer was telling. Hewitt wanted to know if the coronavirus pandemic had placed the United States in direct conflict with China, even if it is nonviolent at the moment. Pence could not give him a straight answer.
Instead, he took a long pause before talking around the subject. Hewitt went on to say that the Chinese Communist Party’s mask was coming off but we are not sure if that was the best choice of words. Hewitt also pointed out another obvious issue: the President’s observation of Chinese travel bans.
Wuhan residents were being allowed to fly to various international destinations but they could not travel within the Chinese borders. President Trump has insinuated that this decision was made purposefully, as a means of spreading chaos throughout the world. He wants to make sure that we get to the bottom of what has taken place here.
The United States and other nations around the world needed to be informed of the coronavirus threat before it was too late. The United States intelligence community is looking into the matter now. Other nations have also threatened to launch their own investigations. As you would expect, the Chinese are less than thrilled by this prospect.
All funding to the World Health Organization has been cut off until the investigation is complete. The American people need to know the facts and China has to be held accountable for their alleged wrongdoing. Trump’s past assertions about America’s trade relationship are now coming home to roost.
This pandemic has exposed America’s need to reevaluate their supply chains. At a time like this, we have to be able to get our hands on all of the necessary supplies without having to rely on a foreign country. The most critical elements of the nation’s health care system cannot be produced overseas. President Trump wants the Chinese to stop taking advantage of Americans and his primary goal is to establish a different dynamic with this country.
HH: It is. Now Iâ€™ve got three more. This is a hard one. The President and you at the Lincoln Memorial talked about China. And the President said that look, the Chinese allowed people from Wuhan to fly to international destinations, but not within China. And he intimated that they may have done that knowingly for the purposes of spreading the disadvantage, the economic chaos. Are we in Cold War 2.0, Vice President Pence?
MP: (4 second pause) Well, let me say President Trumpâ€™s made it clear that weâ€™re going to get to the bottom of what happened in China and why it was that China and the World Health Organization did not inform the United States or nations around the planet of the real threat of the Coronavirus. Weâ€™ve got our intelligence community working on that now. And I know weâ€™ll get to the bottom of the facts, but that weâ€™re going to hold, as the Presidentâ€™s already suspended payments to the World Health Organization, the Presidentâ€™s made it clear that at the right time, weâ€™re going to bring the facts to the American people, and weâ€™re going to hold China accountable. That being said, look, one of the enduring lessons that I think has broken through with the American people has been just how right President Trump has been for years about the need to reset our trading relationship with China first, and with other nations around the world. I mean, weâ€™ve met the needs of our health care community. Weâ€™ve had what we call an air bridge, has flown 119 flights of supplies in from around the world of masks and gloves and gowns. But one of the things going forward is we are going to be working very earnestly to bring back home and domestic production of these critical elements of our health care system. And but I think all of your listeners can be confident that President Trump, as heâ€™s done from Day One, is going to continue to stand strong about the advantage that China has taken of the United States for decades, to reset that relationship. But specifically on the Coronavirus, weâ€™re going to get to the bottom of it, and weâ€™re going to hold those that did not play straight with the world accountable.
HH: Well, you hesitated, though. You donâ€™t want to use the word Cold War 2.0, do you? And I donâ€™t understand why, but I understand diplomacy. Maybe itâ€™s not an opportune time to do it, but it does seem like among the masks that are at issue is the one thatâ€™s coming off the CCP.
MP: Well, look, we hope for a better relationship with China. But whether it be the imposition of tariffs, whether it be the way weâ€™ve spoken out against human rights abuses by the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China, you know, the suppression of religious freedoms, the persecution of Christian pastors, of Muslim Uighurs, the confronting China with their ambitions in the South China Sea, and continuing to defend our commitment to freedom of navigation, weâ€™ll continue to make all of those stands. But you know, from early on, the President forged a good working relationship with President Xi, and we continue to hope for better things in our relationship with China. But the American people can be confident this president, this administration will continue to stand firm on behalf of our economy and on behalf of our most cherished ideals.
As for Pence, he clearly did not want to use the term “Cold War” in his response. He is a bit more diplomatic than the president and wants to make sure that the relationship with China remains cordial. That does not mean that we are never going to take a stand, though. Pence pointed to the United States opposition of a number of Chinese initiatives.
Whether the United States is confronting the Chinese over their South China Sea ambitions or speaking out about the country’s human rights abuses, these are the stands that we need to keep taking. Pence also pointed out the president’s strong relationship with President Yi. The current administration is committed to American ideals and will keep fighting for what is right.
This is obviously a Cold War situation, though. Pence cannot say the words out loud but the first rule of a Cold War is that you do not talk about the Cold War. The Chinese are furious about the investigations and have already engaged in anti-American rhetoric. There is no honest cooperation taking place at the moment. They are even destroying evidence that could lead investigators to the true cause of the virus.
The Western world has been wearing blinders when it comes to the Chinese for some time now. The current predicament that we are facing should have finally removed them, once and for all. China has been engaging in cyber warfare against the United States for years. We should have been asking the necessary questions about a Cold War a long time ago. The Chinese have been hacking the Pentagon since at least 2013!
Why did it take American leaders this long to finally step up and take a stand? We have been enduring various attacks from the Chinese for a long time now and these attacks come in a number of forms.
While many of them are not obvious to the average citizen, our governing bodies have no excuse to ignore these issues for as long as they have. If you would like to find out more about what Mike Pence had to say, be sure to check out the Hugh Hewitt interview in its entirety.