Congress gripped by new wave of McCarthyism
William Jones

Editor's note: William Jones is a Washington political analyst and a non-resident fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

A new report by the congressional "China Task Force" issued on September 30 reflects and expands on the new wave of McCarthyism now sweeping through Washington like a rapidly spreading virus. The authors of the report, House Republican Leader Representative Kevin McCarthy (no relations to Joe McCarthy according to reports) and Democrat Michael McCaul, the chairman of the task force, attempted to get House Democrats to sign on to their report, but failed, perhaps more for petty political reasons than for real philosophical differences.

The report itself summarizes all the usual bogus claims made against China since the Trump administration intensified its anti-China campaign by labeling COVID-19 the "China virus," throwing in the lies about Xinjiang, Tibet, the Belt and Road Initiative, etc. If all the measures in the report were actually implemented, it would not lead to an "America First" policy, but rather to an "America alone" policy. The world is not inclined, as the report would have it, to isolate China with its 1.4 billion people. It could also lead to potential military confrontation. Such a blatant attempt to build a "Great Wall" around China and to prevent it from advancing technologically, which is the right of every nation, is really doomed to fail.

Simplistic comparisons are made with the Soviet Union. But unlike the Soviet Union, China represents no existential threat to the survival of the United States. Unlike the Soviet Union, it has no intent to destroy the United States or even take its place in the world. And unlike the Soviet Union, it is not attempting to get other countries to adopt its economic and political system.

China simply seeks to take its rightful place in that community as the second major economic power in the world. It has attempted to join the international economic system through its policy of reform and opening-up, which continues to this day. It would prefer to make that system a bit more just and fair, and that demand has been coming steadily from the entire developing world ever since.

A screenshot of the first paragraph of the executive summary in China Task Force's September 30 report.

A screenshot of the first paragraph of the executive summary in China Task Force's September 30 report.

And even with the Soviet Union, President Ronald Reagan, cited as the source of the inspiration for this report, put forward a program of cooperation with the Soviet Union in developing a system of defense against nuclear weapons, the Strategic Defense Initiative, which would have made nuclear weapons obsolete and which he intended to share with the Soviets. If you check the appropriate documents, now declassified, you'll see that this is exactly what he called for.

Economist Lyndon LaRouche, who was advising President Reagan on this program, pointed out that such a program would serve as the type of science driver that could pull the United States out of the economic malaise it was in at that point.  But both Republicans and Democrats did their best to water down and ultimately destroy the one program that could have prevented the present demise of U.S. technological potential.

So if you look at what is really facing America in this COVID era, it is not China that is the problem, but U.S.' own institutions, and particularly the U.S. Congress. Instead of building a "Great Wall" around China, why doesn't Congress finance a Manhattan-style program to increase the number of STEM scholarships to bring our children into society as the new engineers and scientists we need, including young children from the black ghetto, who don't get much attention from Congress these days? And, by all means, provide full funding for the Artemis space program which has the potential for beginning to again inspire – and unite – Americans rather than dividing them. But also figure out a way to achieve an Apollo-Soyuz hook-up with China rather than using a Space Force for what threatens to become a real "Star Wars" enterprise. And, if you want to compete with China, why doesn't the U.S. compete in eliminating poverty in Africa?

By all means, follow the example of President Reagan, the real one, and not the one the neoconservative myth-makers have embroidered, who created a working relationship, and even something of a friendship with U.S.' largest geopolitical and ideological opponent. It's vitally important, because the path laid out by the China Task Force can only serve to turn China from a partner into an enemy and put the world on the path to chaos.

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