An American State Department official let it be known her real thoughts on China last week. At the annual “Future Security Forum” at Arizona State University, Kiron Skinner highlighted the growing rivalry between the United States and China. She noted that China was a unique threat because of its economic might and because it was “not Caucasian,” reports Newsweek. Her remarks were met with criticism online with many calling out her racism and saying that it harkened back to the days of “Yellow Peril.”
When co-panelist New America CEO Anne Marie Slaughter asked the Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, Kiron Skinner, to clarify the Trump doctrine and its view on China, Skinner said that China was a “threat.” Slaughter, suggested instead that China was an “adversary,” but Skinner reiterated that China was a “threat.” This led to Skinner highlighting the difference between China and the Soviet Union.
“When we think about the Soviet Union in that competition [the Cold War], in a way, it was a fight within the Western family,” Skinner said. “This is a fight with a really different civilization, and a different ideology and the United States hasn’t had that before. Nor has it had an economic competitor the way that we have. The Soviet Union was a country with nuclear weapons and the Red Army but a backwards economy.”
“In China, we have an economic competitor, we have an ideological competitor, one that really does seek a kind of global reach that many of us didn’t expect a couple of decades ago. And I think it’s also striking that it’s the first time we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian.”
There have been growing tensions between the United States and China. When Trump came to into office he began a trade war between China and the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that China represents a threat to “our continued democracy,” according to the Washington Examiner. The rhetoric between East vs West has been growing as China’s influence in the world grows.