Is Trump Wrong Not Keeping on Obama’s Hurting US to Hurt China?


The shadow of a participant is seen on a map illustrating the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong in January 2016. Photo: Reuters

In its article “How Trump gave China’s ‘Belt and Road’ scheme a boost”, SCMP quotes US economist Prof. Shanjun Li of Cornell University as saying that Trump’s protectionism could help the belt and road scheme gain legitimacy as a countervailing force promoting international trade in the region.

Prof. Li seemed to mean that the scheme lacks legitimacy and Trump is going to give it legitimacy with his protectionism.

Then why is China’s belt and road scheme illegitimate in the first place? Has it broken any international law or norms?

It is a scheme benefiting China in expanding China’s market and providing trade security and outlet for China’s excessive capacity, but China conducts the scheme by providing loans to boost other countries’ economic growth. Quite a few of those loans are quite risky as they are lent to poor countries usually with political instability.

What China is doing aims at benefiting itself through benefiting others. Whatever Trump does, the scheme is certainly a countervailing force promoting international trade in the region. If successful, it will naturally expand China’s influence among those countries benefited by the scheme.

However, SCMP seems unhappy with that. That is why it says that the scheme “has been given a boost by American counterpart Donald Trump’s protectionist trade agenda and isolationist diplomacy”, hinting that Trump shall instead continue Obama’s policy to contain China. But can the US indeed contain China?

Militarily, the US retreated when China responded with its will to fight a war at US interference in China’s disputes in the South China Sea.

Obama’s transfer of 60% US military to area near China was most stupid as US military will easily be annihilated by China there due to China’s geographic advantages. What China fears is having its trade lifelines through oceans been cut by powerful US navy. If China can annihilate 60% of US navy near its coast, it will have no such fear!

Economically TPP cannot hurt China but both Clinton and Trump hold that it will certainly hurt the US.

In fact neither pivot to Asia nor TPP can hinder China’s belt and road scheme. Nor can the US boost it as US influence in the countries involved in the scheme is quite limited especially after US failure to achieve its strategic goals in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, the US is so hard up as to reduce its aids to poor countries, which will further reduce its influence in the world.

It is time to wake up from the dream that the US is strong enough to stop China’s rise.

Trump is sober to conduct win-win cooperation with China in order to make the US strong, but lots of US politicians, analysts, media, etc. seem to remain soundly in their dreams.

Being a Chinese US weakness seems good for me, but I instead hope that Trump will be able to recover US greatness. It will make American people happy and provide balance of strength in the world. I am amazed that lots of Americans oppose Trump and do not want him to achieve that.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s article, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2093060/how-trump-gave-chinas-belt-and-road-scheme-boost.

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5 Comments on “Is Trump Wrong Not Keeping on Obama’s Hurting US to Hurt China?”

  1. johnleecan says:

    Well, American, western imperialist, along with their Japanese lapdogs objective or motto is to “give and take” when treating other weak countries – Yes, give them an ounce and we’ll take a ton. A win-lose, master-slave relationship is what these greedy monsters pursue.

    China’s objective is different. After more than three decades of economic development, even if still a developing country, China wants to give back and help other countries improve their economy and quality of life. The OBOR is China’s solution to help the world reduce poverty, improve their quality of life and the possibility of ending conflicts – even though these are not stated because the west would simply ridicule and dismiss everything China would do that is in contradiction to the west objective.

    With the west in panic mode, they spread disinformation and lies that China is out to steal their natural resources and use OBOR to exert undue influence on their country to favor China’s businesses. But the fact is China is risking hundreds of billions in OBOR. Of course China would want to have its investment back but their main objective is to help. Infrastructure is the most important to get trade and businesses started and that is what OBOR is for. Like the old Chinese saying, “to become rich, build roads”.

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  2. Simon says:

    Greatness are earned and America certainly does not earn the right to be great.

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  3. Steve says:

    In reality democracy is hurting the US, lacking the ability to compete as a global power. The US has retreated from globalisation to protectionism. TPP is a good example of Obama’s poor judgement to contain China. The US decline is relevant to it’s aggressive behaviour in the last two decades – the Iraq genocide war sponsored by the US, invasion of Libya and Syria now Yemen including Obama’s well known pivot to Asia, supported the PCA arbitration, US manufacturing companies moving offshore, etc, etc. China is forging ahead, US is retreating.

    China’s OBOR, AIIB, FTAs and huge investments in Africa, LatAm countries, Asia and Europe will sink the US global power irrespective who is the American president. The reality is China Vs USA. An Autocracy government challenging the foundation of US democracy. Is US democracy as we see it in the real world a hegemony.? It has evolved into an invasive beast.

    All powerful countries including Russia, UK, Germany, France, Japan would want to recover it’s greatness, not just the US. It’s a question of timing and conditions.

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    • Joseph says:

      It makes sense that powerful countries would want to recover their greatness. But history has indicated that only China manages to achieve such feats, repeatedly throughout history that it has become a sort of certainty. Other great powers such as the Egyptian, the Roman, the Mongol and the Ottoman, just perished into history with not even a chance of recovering. Even the so-called ‘modern’ European power such as the Medici/Italian, the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Mexican, declined to such sorry state to the point it is ridiculous for them to ever recover. Today, the last of European superpowers, the British, the French and the prodigal American are in steep decline that they can feel demise is just a matter of time. All, while China has shown the sign of dynastic revival that happened in the past so many times. That’s the bitter pill that enemies of China have to swallow.

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      • Steve says:

        Agreed – History and Chinese Culture has proven China’s amazing tenacity of perseverance and hard work. South East Asian countries are excellent examples. Chinese immigrants are the most resourceful, challenges the unknown boundaries, establishing highly successful businesses as the economic backbone of those countries. Famous saying, its what you can do for your country not what your country can do for you. Chinese are great travellers, they travel far and wide for the sake of livelihood, strong ability and capacity to adapt and learn foreign cultures, able to seek the advantage and match with the best. China has never invaded nor colonised another country for it’s economy, wealth and slavery. This is what separates China from the hegemonic countries such as the British, US, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese barbaric Savages, Germans and many other nations. Immigration Vs Invasion.

        Someone asked a Buddhist Patriarch, ‘will the Western and Eastern civilisation merge.’ This is a very broad question as there are many cultures among Western nations and many cultures within Eastern nations. His answer was there will still be three civilisations, Western, Eastern and Chinese. The Chinese will stand on it’s own, it has it’s own writings, language, the three roots of Confucianism, Taoism and Chinese Buddhism. This is the genuine greatness of Chinese culture still standing over 5,000 years unlike the Egyptians and other civilisations.

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