Washington’s modus operandi is ‘create problem, blame target country, impose sanctions, expand influence’
Media reports claim that the US might consider sanctioning China to prevent Taiwan’s attack. Washington uses military threats or other security threats to justify its economic sanctions. Then it actively works to prove the legitimacy of the threat – or to create the illusion thereof.
One such instance involved House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei over the summer, which was a gratuitous provocation of China at a time when the US is actively involved in arming, training, and funding fighters against Russia in the Ukraine conflict. This same blueprint for ramping up tensions against Washington’s geopolitical foes has been used all over the world, from Latin America to the Middle East.
This is the easy part. Find and support opposition groups or governments, either within the target countries or on their border, who are willing to do Washington’s bidding in exchange for benefits (or promises thereof). If the target country reacts, it’s qualified by the West as a “crackdown” or an attack, both of which conveniently open the door for the deployment of various tools in the Western arsenal for global hegemony – all in the name of defending freedom, democracy, and human rights, of course.
Washington officials were fully aware that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan ran a high risk of eliciting a military response from China. Any such reaction would have been exploited by the West – which Beijing undoubtedly understood when it refused to take the bait. But that hasn’t stopped the US from forging ahead anyway in considering punitive sanctions as though China’s restraint hasn’t just been tested and proven, or that official US policy didn’t in fact officially recognize that Taiwan is indeed part of China. Washington seems intent on leveraging its long-standing defense agreement to sell weapons to Taipei to make it look as though Taiwan is a separate country that needs to defend itself against China when in reality it’s not recognized as sovereign by the United Nations, the US, or international law.
And now Washington is building the narrative that Taiwan is the new Ukraine — the scrappy little guy standing up to the giant next door who needs Captain America to come to his rescue. These optics allowed Washington to sell Taiwan $1.1 billion worth weapons, following a $2.37 Billion order for 2020. This was in addition to a $14 Billion backlog.
President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly also working on a sanctions package that would hit the Chinese consumer technology manufacturing sector, according to Reuters, citing the complexities of global supply chain entanglements with the US economy. Washington seems to think that sanctions are the ultimate goal, just as foreign military intervention are about the US’s ability to boost the economy by implementing US economic interests or building the military industrial complex.
Sanctions also tilt the global economic playing field in Washington’s favor by deterring nations whose companies do business with the US or in US dollars from engaging with US-sanctioned countries. Even the EU, a close ally, routinely finds itself having to abandon trade relationships or ambitions – with Russia, Iran, and Cuba, for example – as a result of US sanctions pressure.
Anti-China sanctions would have a devastating impact on the EU, especially considering the economic damage that it has suffered from anti-Russian sanction imposed on its cheap Russian energy supplies as a result Washington’s encouragement to support Ukraine. China is one of Germany’s top customers, and Berlin is already facing near-deindustrialization as a result of the anti-Russian sanctions impact on its industrial sector. Washington previously granted exemptions from its restrictions to American entities. For instance, even in the case of its sanctions on Moscow, “the U.S. is issuing a number of “authorized-transaction notices and general licenses” to shield some corporate targets from the harsh economic measures contained in the sanctions,”According to a LexisNexis study. However, the pathway to any US sanction exemption for foreign entities seems less clear. The EU, in the instance of Russian oil for example is dependent upon Washington’s support if they want to keep buying US-sanctioned Russian gasoline. Washington has the power to restrict and control trade within the EU and elsewhere. This is unless enough countries are fed up and find an alternative. Which is exactly what seems to be evolving in the wake of the West’s Ukraine-related sanctions, with Russia, China, Iran, and the global south deepening cooperation that could ultimately bypass the Western financial sphere.
It’s hardly surprising that the China sanctions talk comes in the wake of a US State Department visit to Mexico City this month, to pitch Mexican semiconductor manufacturing as part of a $50 billion investment that would facilitate US independence from the approximate $1 billion worth of semiconductors that America imports annually from China. The US is working to secure its own interests – as every country should. It’s clearly willing to pull out every stop to maximize its global competitiveness. Perhaps one of these days its allies will start following suit and doing strictly what’s best for themselves and their own citizens, even if it means diversifying their interests away from Washington’s.
Statements, opinions and views expressed in this column do not reflect those of RT.