Asian Americans suffer as Trump, Biden, Romney vie to be toughest on China

As U.S. President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden escalate their rhetoric about who is best suited to deal with Beijing, “Who’s ‘tough on China’ has taken on a broader political meaning, with a fight not just about long-standing trade and labor concerns, but also a global health pandemic originating in that country and whether the U.S. response was adequate,” says NPR.

Today was Senator Mitt Romney’s turn to talk tough, with an op-ed in the Washington Post (porous paywall) titled “America is awakening to China. This is a clarion call to seize the moment.” The piece calls the alarm on everything from China’s military buildup in the Pacific to American dependency on China for pharmaceuticals. “As a first step, President Trump was right to blow the whistle on Xi and apply tariffs,” argues Romney. “But we must go a good deal further.”

See also: “How coronavirus changes the political outlook in China and the U.S.” in the Washington Post (porous paywall) by scholar Jessica Chen Weiss.

The fierce words and a growing sense of American unease with the P.R.C. are making life uncomfortable for anyone who looks Chinese in the United States. Here is a partial selection of relevant stories from the last few days:

—Jeremy Goldkorn