How To Fight China’s Economic Bullying?
The existing institutions and mechanisms used by the world’s major democracies are unable to respond to China’s economic warfare techniques as they were primarily designed to respond to the military threats that the USSR posed.
For example, when Australia demanded an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, China blocked imports from major Australian meat producers and placed tariffs on Australian barley. This not only affected the Australian economy but also strongly discouraged other countries from questioning China.
In order to avoid this, the west needs a means to respond collectively when China tries to use economic warfare techniques. An alliance like the NATO for economic threats is the easiest and the most effective method to do so. Under such a system, member states will provide mutual support when China threatens economic sanctions.
That support could be in the form of tariffs on Chinese goods by all member states and/or reducing tariffs on exports from the targeted member state(s). For example, when China threatens Australia with sanctions, all members of the economic alliance could impose tariffs on Chinese goods. Thus, forcing China to back off.