China’s Aggression Amid the Pandemic Has Little to Do With COVID-19

China’s Aggression Amid the Pandemic Has Little to Do With COVID-19
Chinese sailors at a concert featuring Chinese and foreign military bands in Qingdao, China, April 22, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to monopolize the attention of leaders around the world, some observers have concluded that China is attempting to exploit the crisis for geopolitical gain. From its disputed western border with India to the contested waters of the South China Sea, an increasingly common narrative is that Beijing has stepped up its assertive behavior against its neighbors to settle old scores. Targets of China’s recent provocations include Taiwan and Hong Kong—which Beijing would like to see integrated with the mainland—as well as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Yet this narrative is exaggerated. The reality is that […]

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