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America seems to be on the verge of declaring cold war on China, while simultaneously weakening its own ability to wage such a conflict. Across the ideological spectrum, U.S. hostility to China has surged just as financial fallout of the pandemic threatens to harm the U.S. defense budget for years to come.

For several years, American national security elites have mostly called for a more competitive strategy toward China, while the American people have not been so certain. Now the coronavirus has convinced many Americans that the Chinese government poses not just some nebulous threat to the U.S.-led international order, but a direct danger to their prosperity and well-being.

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