Considering all that has happened in the year since the first coronavirus cases were discovered, one might expect China and the CPC to be somewhat more contrite. But although President Xi has promised to dole out billions of doses of China-developed vaccines throughout the developed world, Beijing has rattled its rivals in the West by putting its foot down and pushing back against American efforts to curb China's growing geopolitical rivals.
On Thursday, China warned that it would retaliate against the US by slapping new sanctions on American officials and place travel restrictions on diplomats, following the announcement of sanctions on 14 members of China’s NPC, the massive legislative body that functions as China's "Congress" (it's merely a rubber-stamp legislature, to be sure).
SCMP claimed these tit-for-tat restrictions are the result of President Trump trying to preserve his "tough on China", and box VP Joe Biden into preserving the approach, something Biden has promised to do, at least, at first. Biden has even reportedly brought in Mayor Pete Buttigieg to handle the whole situation and maintain the tough stance.
However, last night, Hunter Biden revealed that he his facing a tax-fraud investigation tied to his business dealings in China, not exactly a vote of confidence in his father's ability to remain objective.
China is aiming to sanction powerful Americans including lawmakers, NGO personnel and their families, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing Thursday in Beijing.
The sanctions drama initially xploded in Beijing earlier this week when Chinese vice foreign minister Zheng Zeguang summoned a top US diplomat to the Forbidden City for a tongue-lashing over the Americans' "barbaric actions" - a reference to sanctions imposed on more than a dozen top Chinese officials earlier in the week.
China added that the sanctions would only "strengthen its resolve" to crush Hong Kong' democratic freedoms - Beijing's primary goal in all of this.
While Trump's rhetoric and actions certainly seem aggressive, Washington has been careful not to cross an important red line: Beijing has warned that it would never tolerate sanctions on members of China's seven-member standing committee, otherwise known as the Politburo, which is the group of the 7 most powerful government officials in all of China.