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VIDEO: Don't fall for the cold war trap

A cold war is heating up with China, particularly after a new report that Joe Biden is going to try to — mistakenly — try to out-hawk Trump.

Analysis | Asia-Pacific

The burgeoning cold war with China just got frostier over the past 24 hours. The Trump campaign has made clear that it intends to hammer China in the general election. On Tuesday night, as reported by Politico, the Trump campaign sent a memo to its surrogates claiming that internal polling showed that Trump gained a dramatic 9 points against Joe Biden over the last three weeks to pull to even at 48-48. According to the memo, “55 percent favor sanctioning China for its handling — or lack thereof — of the coronavirus.” This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese and Iranian hackers were “aggressively targeting American universities, pharmaceutical and other health-care firms in a way that could be hampering their efforts to find a vaccine to counter the coronavirus pandemic.” It cited unnamed officials and alleged that these “attacks” have been ongoing since January 3 — the same day that Chinese officials informed CDC director Robert Redfield that the coronavirus was spreading in Wuhan. Redfield then informed HHS Secretary Alex Azar, who informed the White House National Security Council, but was ignored. Most ominously, the WSJ hints that “the aggression could be viewed by the Trump administration as a direct attack on U.S. public health and tantamount to an act of war...because the attacks may have hindered vaccine research in some cases.” How will congressional Democrats and presumptive nominee Joe Biden respond? A new Reuters report quoted Jake Sullivan, a key foreign policy advisor to Biden, saying the Biden campaign was preparing to roll out policies that will “hammer Trump” on his handling of China — by sounding even more anti-China than Trump. But Stephen Wertheim, Qi's deputy director of research and policy, warns that such an attempt to out-hawk the hawks risks plunging the United States into an unnecessary cold war with the world's number-two power — and will make Americans less safe. We stand, he argues, on the brink of an even more destructive and less justifiable mistake than America's post-9/11 crusade against terror. See his video below and read his op-ed in Monday's New York Times with Qi research fellow Rachel Esplin Odell:

Photo credit: Evan El-Amin /
Analysis | Asia-Pacific
Ukraine-Poland row exposes history, limits of devotion
Credit: Polish President Andrzej Duda (Shutterstock/BikerBarakuss) and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky (Shutterstock/Oleksandr Osipov)

Ukraine-Poland row exposes history, limits of devotion


The vitriolic dispute between Poland and Ukraine brings out some aspects of the West’s approach to the war in Ukraine that the Ukrainian government would do well to study carefully.

The dispute originated in charges by Poland and other central European governments that Ukraine’s greatly increased grain exports to Europe — a consequence of the Russian closure of the Black Sea to Ukrainian maritime trade — were flooding European markets and depressing prices for Polish and other farmers.

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Rep. Gerry Connolly

Rep. Gerry Connolly, screengrab via

How members of Congress can take on Iran hawks

Middle East

During a recent House hearing on “Iran’s escalating threats,” a Democratic lawmaker completely dismantled all the myths opponents of diplomacy peddle about Iran and its nuclear program.

The hearing was dominated by hawkish voices on Iran, who urged for increasing pressure and spurned any diplomatic engagement. The only exception was Suzanne Maloney from the Brookings Institute, who took a more moderate stance.

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Brazil is showing us how to avoid a new cold war

President Joe Biden and Brazilian President Lula. photo: White House

Brazil is showing us how to avoid a new cold war

Latin America

When the BRICS grouping held its annual summit in late August, it was widely covered as a portentous affair that signaled a ripening challenge to the U.S.-led global order.

For the first time, the group expanded considerably, reflecting a growing ambition not necessarily shared by each original member. It was reasonable to wonder whether a robust challenge to U.S. hegemony was imminent.

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Ukraine War Crisis