The targeting of Confucius Institutes is not just about language teaching or combating communist infiltration: just like the trade war, this is about opening up China, primarily for US companies. And the main obstacle to this is the Communist Party.
In 2016, Trump pinned US socio-economic woes on China and won the election. This year, he is pinning Covid-19 on China to distract Americans from his policy failures. Will ‘Getting tough on China’ get him re-elected?
Some Western media outlets have invoked the ‘yellow peril’ in their coverage of a ‘Made in China’ virus. Intentionally or not, such an approach is inciting xenophobia in the West and also fuelling a nationalistic backlash in China.