China and the U.S.’s strategic animosity has prompted an outburst of historical correspondences, such as Sparta and Athens, or the United Kingdom and Wilhelmine Germany, to name a few. However, the row over the United States’ decisions against the telecommunications company Huawei remembers another, more significant, occurrence in history: the United States’ pre-World War II pressure operation against Japan which concluded, in July 1941, in Franklin Roosevelt’s crucial decision to freeze the United States contained Japanese assets.
The United States, once again, collides head-on with a disgruntled Asian force aiming to, make room for itself in the geopolitical horizon, dislodge the United States from within Asia, surpass its economic reliance on the West and also reconstruct international laws to be more in their favor. This Asian force is encouraging nationalist zeal and suppressing disagreements at home. Meanwhile, the United States is aiming to utilize their economic hold to alter its conduct while also raising its military dispositions to further strengthen its associations and to make its presence seem assertive.
However, this isn’t the 1930s. As can be viewed from the fact that, China has missed out on attacking its neighbors (unlike what Japan did to the Chinese), the United States and China are more economically linked than the United States and Japan were prior to the war, their combined position as nuclear superpowers ups the ante of armed encounter by a long run.
It’s not that the retribution on Huawei, which is not a nation only a company (that too, private), will result in a situation much like the Pearl Harbor. However, the pushback against China of the United States, is a reminder of its strives against Japan, with similar perils.
Huawei is under existential threat, to say the least, following the decision against it to put it on the list of persons that the suppliers from the United States need a license in order to do business with.
Under Donald Trump’s Presidency, Beijing has been blasted for its exploitative actions in progressing the Belt and Road Initiative, enforced tolls to keep its trade practices in check, limited Chinese investments, while at the same time, raised support in Taiwan’s favor.