If anyone has taken US-China relations to the brink of a new cold war, it's the Chinese Communist Party

As summer begins, American families usually come together to play, travel and unwind. Instead, we enter this season with nationwide protests, mass unemployment and civil unrest—and the sobering milestone that more than 100,000 of our fellow Americans have succumbed to the coronavirus.

Amid these grave events, the very government responsible for unleashing the coronavirus on an unsuspecting world has shown, once again, there’s no low to which they won’t stoop.

First, Beijing tried to extinguish the last remaining liberties in Hong Kong, and fired tear gas on a people whose cries for freedom have spread to every corner of this earth and cannot be extinguished—ironically, much like the coronavirus itself.

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Then, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused U.S. officials of “taking China-U.S. relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War.” While Foreign Minister Wang’s assertion was absurd, we aren’t—and shouldn’t—be surprised. After all, it was the Foreign Minister’s spokesman who in March tried to blame the U.S. Army for starting the coronavirus.

Using the “DIME” (Diplomatic, Informational, Military, Economic) paradigm, it’s time to look at the facts: If anyone has taken U.S.-China relations to “the brink of a new Cold War,” it’s the Chinese Communist Party, not the United States.

Diplomatically, China has deployed the Belt and Road Initiative to create a wedge between the United States and nations in Asia, Europe and Africa. They’ve perfected the art of debt trap diplomacy, taking advantage of struggling nations in order to bend them to the Chinese Politburo’s will.

Informationally, one needs to look no further than the coronavirus to see China’s heavy hand: Rather than alerting the world about the truth of the coronavirus, the Chinese government instead focused their attention on silencing their own doctors, scientists, and journalists who tried to warn the world. At the same time, they’ve deployed Western technology to spy on and oppress the Uighurs, a Muslim minority in China. Their cyberattacks on U.S. military personnel records, the F35, and submarine bases are known to the world.

Militarily, China has been deploying its forces and building islands in the South China Sea to assert its dominance in violation of international court judgements. Just three years ago, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy opened its first overseas base in the Horn of Africa. And lately, we’ve seen an alarming trend of Chinese state-backed entities looking to gobble up American companies critical to our national security.

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Economically, China continues to steal intellectual property from Western nations, especially the United States. Huawei’s theft of Motorola technology which led to the company’s demise, the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs, and billions from the U.S. GDP is a case study of their predatory behavior. The U.S. Trade Representative has predicted China’s IP theft has cost the U.S. GDP $200-600 billion annually. That GDP fuels American military might and hence the preservation of world peace. Of course, as every American knows by this point, China continues to practice currency manipulation and unfair trade behavior.

Despite all this, Washington has offered olive branch after olive branch to Beijing. We have relentlessly pursued trade deals; we have turned the other cheek; we have sought peace.

China’s totalitarian regime has unleashed enough pain on the world. Their lies and misinformation should no longer be tolerated. It’s time for the United States, and the entire Free World, to hold them accountable.

In their thirst for greatness, China will do anything to smear the United States. Make no mistake: it’s the Chinese government, and it alone, that has led us to the brink of a new cold war. If China wants to prevent a cold war, it should start by owning its part in the COVID pandemic, allowing unfettered exports of personal protective equipment, and sitting down with Western nations to discuss preventing another wet market-induced viral emergence. Until that time, the Chinese Communist Party should know the Free World is wise to their malign intent.

And make no mistake: The Free World will prevail, for in the words of our indomitable partner in winning the last Cold War, the late Lady Margaret Thatcher: “When people are free to choose, they choose freedom.”

Rep. Mark GreenMark GreenGOP lawmakers want answers from Disney on Mulan, China House GOP Steering Committee selects four members for new committee positions Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese hackers accused of targeting COVID-19 research | House votes to ban TikTok on government devices MORE is a successful business leader, decorated combat veteran, and ER physician. He served on the mission to capture Saddam Hussein, and he interviewed Hussein for six hours on the night of his capture. He serves on the House Oversight and Homeland Security Committees.