Education, International

U.S. Strategic Competition Act of 2021 shows dangerous, zero-sum view: scholars


WASHINGTON, May 18– The U.S. Strategic Competition Act of 2021 comes under bombardment of attacks, as scholars criticize the act for hampering collaborative exchanges and vilifying China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
A multi-part series comprised of writings by scholars of social sciences from various institutions in the United States was recently published by Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (QIRS), in which scholars pummeled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021.
The Act, earlier passed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, authorizes 300 million U.S. dollars to be appropriated for each fiscal year to “counter the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party globally.”
The Act is “a dangerous declaration of cold war on China”, wrote Michael D. Swaine, scholar of Chinese security studies and director of the QIRS’s East Asia program. He believes the Act “epitomizes the worst errors of the new Washington ‘consensus’ on what a rising China supposedly means for the United States and the world.”
The Act, Swaine said, contains “simplistic and exaggerated depiction of the threats China poses to the United States and the world” and “almost exclusively zero-sum (and in some instances dangerous) policy recommendations.”
Stipulating that the U.S. government shall not place any restrictions on the ability of U.S. officials to interact with Taiwan, the Act not only undermines the longstanding one-China policy in the United States, but also violates the separation of powers outlined in the U.S. Constitution, which grants the executive power to conduct diplomacy and recognize foreign governments, wrote Rachel Esplin Odell, research fellow with the QIRS.
Another author of the series, postdoctoral research fellow at the Boston University Jake Werner, said the Act “falsely paints the BRI as a nefarious economic tool meant to bludgeon American primacy” and revealed a “disastrously crude, one-sided, and zero-sum view of Chinese motivations and intentions” within the Congress.
Instead of demonizing the BRI, Werner said, U.S. leaders should recognize the reasons it has been enthusiastically accepted around the world. (Xinhua)