Sino/US Standoff Much More Than About Trade

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Sino/US Standoff Much More Than About Trade

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Major Sino/US differences go way beyond trade issues. China’s growing political, economic, financial, and military strength jeopardize Washington’s aim to dominate the Indo/Pacific region.

Welcome to Cold War 2.0. Both wings of the US war party consider China and Russia existential threats to Washington’s drive for global hegemony.

The US wants both countries and other sovereign independent states checked politically, economically, financially and militarily.

That’s what imperialism is all about. US geopolitical aims risk possible global war to try achieving them.

Sino/US differences threaten world peace. In January, President Xi Jinping ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for possible war, saying:

“All military units must correctly understand major national security and development trends, and strengthen their sense of unexpected hardship, crisis and battle,” adding:

“The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development.” 

China’s armed forces must “prepare for a comprehensive military struggle from a new starting point. Preparation for war and combat must be deepened to ensure an efficient response in times of emergency.”

Beijing seeks Asia/Pacific peace and stability, not war. US rage for dominating this part of the world forces China to prepare for unthinkable conflict with Washington.

Xi’s remarks followed enactment of the US Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA). It authorized  funding for Washington’s Indo/Pacific agenda, mainly by expanding its military footprint in the region. 

Canada’s unlawful arrest and detention of Chinese tech giant Huawei’s chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou last December at the behest of the Trump regime for extradition to the US was all about wanting corporate America to have a leg up over Chinese competitors, especially over high-tech giants like Huawei and ZTE. 

Huawei is leading the race to roll out 5G technology in Western and world markets. The company reportedly refused to install NSA backdoors for US intelligence gathering.

Sino/US trade war is cover for Washington’s real objective — wanting China’s aim to become an economic, industrial and technological powerhouse undermined, wanting corporate America to remain dominant worldwide, especially in high-tech sectors.

Following the failure of last week’s Sino/US trade talks to resolve major sticking points, Trump threatened China, saying either accept US demands or they “will become far worse” if talks continue “in my second term. Would be wise for them to act now.”

Effective midnight last Thursday, Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 – 25%. He ordered duties imposed on all remaining Chinese exports to the US, around another $300 billion worth, trade representative Robert Lighthizer saying:

“The president…ordered us to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China” — details perhaps to be announced in days.

Reportedly, Trump regime officials gave Liu and his team around a month to accept US demands or face 25% tariffs on all Chinese imports.

On Friday, Beijing’s Vice Premier/chief negotiator Liu He said major sticking points with the US were over “crucial” matters regarding “big principles.”

He named three major areas of disagreement — whether to rescind all US tariffs when an agreement is reached, the amount of Chinese purchases of US goods, and a “balanced” trade deal text.

“Any country needs its own dignity, so the text must be balanced,” he stressed, adding: “Every country has important principles, and we will not make concessions on matters of principle.”

Separately, he warned that Beijing “must respond” to increased US tariffs. On Saturday, China’s Global Times (GT) said its authorities “will not yield to extreme pressure of any kind.” 

Separately, GT said Trump regime actions created “an unprecedented situation in the history of international trade.” 

“On the one hand, China and the US have made new progress in trade talks; but on the other, trade tensions have escalated due to recent tariff hikes imposed by the US. China and the US are now adopting the mode of ‘fighting and talking.’ ”

The Trump regime “made a fundamental misjudgment…believing China is unilaterally benefitting from China-US economic and trade relations.” 

“They believe that as a trade war will lead to a one-sided loss by China or disproportionate losses between China and the US, they would easily force China to fully concede.” 

“The US has misunderstood the interests of both sides, and seriously underestimated China’s endurance…(T)he US…needs to embrace the idea that China’s core concerns must be respected.”

They run counter to US geopolitical aims, why resolution of major bilateral differences hasn’t been achieved.

Beijing called on the US “to meet each other halfway to resolve…remaining disagreements.”

Will things turn out this way ahead? At some point an agreement is likely, leaving major issues unresolved, core principles China won’t sacrifice.

Trump wants a deal to boost his reelection chances. Leaders of both countries know that lack of resolution harms their economies if things drag on too long.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.