Hardball Trump Regime Tactics Against China Doomed to Fail
Washington’s geopolitical agenda is based on the notion that it can prevail against other nations by pressuring, bullying, warning, and intimidating them to bow to its interests.
It works against some countries, by no means not all, notably not in dealings with Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, for the most part Russia, most of all not China.
It’s a growing power, not about to sacrifice the development of its longterm economic, industrial, technological, and defense aims.
Sino/US trade negotiations broke down over unacceptable Trump regime demands Beijing won’t agree to no matter how many rounds of talks are held.
On Tuesday, China’s envoy to the US Cui Tiankai said “(i)f we review the process of trade talks between us over the last year or so, it is quite clear (that the) US, more than once, (not China) changed its mind overnight, and broke the tentative deal already reached.”
As a result, Beijing is in “no rush” to restart talks. It’s prepared to suspend them if Trump regime negotiators aren’t “prepared to be realistic,” according to analysts quoted by the South China Morning Post.
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Tao Wenzhao said “there is no need to get into frantic calculations about when (Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin) will come (to Beijing for further talks) if the US continues to lack sincerity.”
According to International Relations Professor Jia Qingguo, “(t)he standoff should last for a while because the US has refused to make even the slightest compromise – to a point that is somewhat unreasonable.”
It’s how Washington virtually always operates. It doesn’t negotiate. It demands, why two Kim Jong-un/Trump summits failed to reach agreement. The Trump regime remains unbending, making on unacceptable demands in return for empty promises.
The tactics failed with North Korea, jeopardizing future talks. Eleven rounds of Sino/US trade left both countries at an impasse because Trump regime officials are unbending, Beijing not about to yield to their unacceptable demands.
On Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said “(w)e are now embarking on a new Long March, and we must start all over again” — referring to the protracted struggle between Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai v. US supported Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist forces, ending with the Red Army’s triumph, the forerunner of the People’s Liberation Army.
Xi’s remarks reflect the Sino/US trade talks standoff, no near-term resolution in prospect. While not mentioning the impasse directly, he indicated that there may be hardships ahead because of the worsening external environment at a time China’s economy is slowing.
On Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency said China “has been standing tall in the East for the last 70 years,” adding:
“It has never lowered its head and it has never feared anyone. History will prove again that bullying and threats by the US will not work.”
According to an unnamed source, “China is ready to fight a protracted trade war” if the Trump regime remains unbending.
International relations expert Jin Canrong suggested that China could retaliate against its toughness by banning exports of rare earth minerals to the US its tech companies rely on.
China accounts for about 90% of world production, a weapon it can use against the US if it pushes things too far, the direction it took by blacklisting tech giant Huawei and its affiliates, shutting them out of the US market, pressuring its allies to do the same thing, maybe intending similar action against other Chinese companies.
Beijing holds around $1.1 trillion of US treasuries, down from its 2013 $1.3 trillion peak. It could continue reducing its holdings even though taking this action could lower their value.
It’ll clearly implement what it considers appropriate countermeasures in response to unacceptable US actions. Toughness cuts both ways, hurting both parties, Xi signaling China is willing to sustain pain in its quest to achieve objectives it won’t sacrifice to US demands.
In separate commentaries this week, China’s Global Times explained the following:
Freezing US tech exports to China’s Huawei, including software, chips, and Google’s Android open-source platform, won’t “stifle” the company’s operations, the impact to be “limited” because it prepared for possible adverse scenarios aimed at giving corporate America a competitive advantage.
Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei explained that US bias forced the company to develop “backup products” to deal with what’s going on now, adding:
“Huawei will defeat the challenges created by the US supply ban. Although the US excels at high technology, the industry will not kneel before Washington.”
On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that plans to blacklist Huawei from the US market were made months earlier, postponed so as not to disrupt trade talks, the action taken in response to the current impasse.
It’s a counterproductive strategy, falsely believing toughness can get Beijing to yield, clearly showing little understanding of its resolve not to do anything jeopardizing its longterm aims, even it takes a protracted struggle.
According to a South China Post “exclusive” report, the US Senate’s South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act “proposes sanctions (on Beijing) for involvement in (what it calls) ‘illegal’ activities in (the) South and East China seas,” adding:
If passed by both houses and signed into law by Trump, it would authorize “seizure of US-based (Chinese) assets of those developing projects in areas contested by Asean members” — on the phony pretext of saying Beijing’s “actions or policies…threaten the peace, security or stability” of South China Sea areas contested by Southeast Asian nations.
Similar legislation was introduced in 2017, never reaching the Senate floor for a vote. Bipartisan supporters of the measure hope to make it US law this year.
Going this far will worsen bilateral relations, perhaps putting resolution of trade differences out of reach any time soon, jeopardizing them altogether as long as Trump regime hardball tactics persist.
The only solution to bilateral differences is compromise, short of demanding China sacrifice its longterm aims to US interests — what it surely won’t agree to.
The alternative is continued impasse, adversely affecting both countries and the global economy.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”