Many white Christian evangelicals in the US have long believed that America has a God-given mission to save the world. Under the influence of this crusading mentality, US foreign policy has often swerved from diplomacy to war. It is in danger of doing so again.

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched yet another evangelical crusade, this time against China. His speech was extremist, simplistic and dangerous — and may well put the US on a path to conflict with China.

According to Pompeo, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China (CPC) harbour a “decades-long desire for global hegemony.” This is ironic. Only one country — the US — has a defense strategy calling for it to be the “preeminent military power in the world” with “favourable regional balances of power in the Indo-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Western hemisphere.” China’s defense white paper, by contrast, states that “China will never follow the beaten track of big powers in seeking hegemony,” and that “as economic globalisation, the information society, and cultural diversification develop in an increasingly multi-polar world, peace, development and win-win cooperation remain the irreversible trends of the times”.

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