Published: 2020/10/3 18:06:52 Last Updated: 2020/10/3 21:06:52
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on Saturday sent a message of sympathy, wishing an early recovery for US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania from the COVID-19.
Analysts said the message, out of humanitarianism, “shows the decency of a major country,” and it is hoped that it could also serve to kick-start positive interactions between leaders of China and US, allowing a buffer to bilateral confrontations.
Xi said in the message that “my wife Peng Liyuan and I express sympathy, and hope you get better soon.”
After the Trump couple confirmed their infection on Friday, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying also expressed good wishes on Twitter.
Analysts said the message is humanitarian regards to the couple who suffered from the virus. Kind wishes to the patients are not affected by political frictions or Trump’s hostility.
Chinese netizens said that Xi and the diplomats’ messages show the decency of a major country. “With the goodwill to Trumps, and pledges of making vaccine a public good, China is doing what we should do in the international community,” a net user said on Sina Weibo.
This was the first message between the two leaders in months, amid the continuous spreading of the coronavirus and the US whole-of-government approach against China. Before the message, Xi and Trump’s most recent reported communication was in late March on the phone, after which the US ordered the closure of a Chinese consulate and accelerated oppression of Chinese tech companies on top of its continuous smears on the coronavirus, Hong Kong and Xinjiang affairs. He also attacked China over the pandemic at the UN general assembly in September.
Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Xi expressing sympathy and regards to Trump is in line with international norms. “No matter what situation the two governments are in, disease is tragic.”
President Xi said at the general debate of the UN 75th assembly, “major countries should act like major ones.” Lü said sending the message of sympathy is what a leader of a major country should do.
Xi had sent many messages to leaders who fought the pandemic with their people, but a message of sympathy in a personal tone is rare.
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the message, more in a personal tone, also carries deeper meaning. “It shows goodwill from China’s top leader, and expectations for positive person-to-person interaction with the leader of the US, despite the difficulties between the two countries.”
It is hoped that such goodwill from a leader, if it develops into positive interactions, will smoothen diplomatic relations and allow a buffer as bilateral relations face challenges, Li said.
Li noted that the ball is in Trump’s court, but he is not optimistic about American reactions. It is more likely the Trump administration will continue its hostility, smears and attacks despite Chinese goodwill.
Source: Global Times “Goodwill message from Xi to Trump shows major country attitude despite rivalry”
Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About 3,500 U.S. companies, including Tesla Inc TSLA.O, Ford Motor Co F.N, Target Corp TGT.N, Walgreen Co WBA.O and Home Depot HD.N have sued the Trump administration in the last two weeks over the imposition of tariffs on more than $300 billion (£235.35 billion) in Chinese-made goods.
The suits, filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade, named U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the Customs and Border Protection agency and challenge what they call the unlawful escalation of the U.S. trade war with China through the imposition of a third and fourth round of tariffs.
The legal challenges from a wide variety of companies argue the Trump administration failed to impose tariffs within a required 12-month period and did not comply with administrative procedures.
The companies challenge the administration’s “unbounded and unlimited trade war impacting billions of dollars in goods imported from the People’s Republic of China by importers in the United States,” according to a suit filed by auto parts manufacturer Dana Corp DAN.N.
The suits challenge tariffs in two separate groups known as List 3 and List 4A.” List 3 includes 25% tariffs on about $200 billion in imports, while List 4A included 7.5% tariffs on $120 billion in goods.
One suit argues the administration cannot expand tariffs to other Chinese imports “for reasons untethered to the unfair intellectual property policies and practices it originally investigated.”
Companies filing suit include heavy truck manufacturer Volvo Group North America VOLVb.ST, U.S. auto parts retailer Pep Boys, clothing company Ralph Lauren, Sysco Corp SYY.N, guitar manufacturer Gibson Brands, Lenovo’s 0992.HK U.S. unit, Dole Packaged Foods, a unit of Itochu Corp 8001.T and golf equipment manufacturer Callaway Golf Co.
Home Depot’s suit noted it faces tariffs on bamboo flooring, cordless drills and many other Chinese-made products. Walgreen, a unit of the Walgreen Boots Alliance, said it is paying higher tariffs on products like “seasonal novelties; party, first aid, and office supplies; and household essentials.”
Lighthizer’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Sept. 15, the World Trade Organization found the United States breached global trading rules by imposing multibillion-dollar tariffs in Trump’s trade war with China.
The Trump administration says tariffs on Chinese goods were justified because China was stealing intellectual property and forcing U.S. companies to transfer technology for access to China’s markets.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown
Source: Reuters “Some 3,500 U.S. companies sue over Trump-imposed Chinese tariffs”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
The US is ceding leverage, which is giving China the influence it craves.
By Jen Kirbyjen.email@example.com Sep 22, 2020, 4:00pm EDT
President Donald Trump spent most of his United Nations speech blasting China — for its handling of the coronavirus, for its contributions to pollution, for its trade policy.
China’s President Xi Jinping, who spoke shortly afterward, did not mention the United States directly. Instead, he talked about Beijing’s commitment to global cooperation and the humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both speeches misrepresented the realities of their countries, and the world, right now. But 75 years after the United Nations was founded, China, not the United States, has shown it knows how to work the multilateral system to its advantage.
Trump’s dismissiveness of international cooperation has been a theme of his presidency, culminating in his fourth (and maybe final) United Nations speech, where he once again revisited the greatest hits of “America First.” Or as Trump put it in his short, prerecorded address: “But only when you take care of your own citizens will you find a true basis for cooperation. As president, I have rejected the failed approaches of the past, and I am proudly putting America first, just as you should be putting your countries first.”
Even if expected, Trump’s tone was at odds with the UN’s 75th anniversary, which is all about member states renewing their commitment to multilateralism. His attacks on China were in sharp contrast to the warnings from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who warned earlier Tuesday morning against the start of a “new Cold War” and a world where “the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture.”
“We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” Trump said, referring to the coronavirus. “In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China — and infect the world.”
He accused the World Health Organization, which the Trump administration announced this summer it was withdrawing from, of being too greatly influenced by China. He demanded the “United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.”
A representative for China, speaking to introduce his leader Xi, rejected the US’s characterizations, but in contrast to Trump’s adversarial tone, China tried to paint a picture where they were the good guys just trying to defeat the pandemic responsibly. “We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization, and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic,” Xi said in his address, through an interpreter. “Any attempt of politicizing the issue of stigmatization must be rejected.”
Of course, China silenced whistleblowers who spoke out in the early days of the pandemic, it delayed reporting the outbreak, and there are still questions about China’s level of cooperation with the WHO investigation into the origins of the virus. China has also deployed propaganda to try to blame the US for the coronavirus, too.
“We will never seek hegemonic expansion or sphere of influence,” Xi said in his speech, clearly a nod to Trump’s accusations. “We have no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country. We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.”
Xi is framing China as a sort of responsible global partner and humble participant in the global order; he didn’t try to go tit-for-tat with the US. Instead, the leader of a country that is interning 1 million of its Uighur Muslim minority population, and has stifled democracy in Hong Kong, talked about the need “to join hands to uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom shared by all of us.”
The Trump administration isn’t wrong to call out China its misdeeds. (Trump did not mention Hong Kong or the Uighurs directly, though he warned against “religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.”) But the US also failed to offer an alternative vision of global leadership other than everyone looking out for themselves.
In rejecting global institutions, Trump then wants these global institutions to change — a proposition that seems doomed to fail. At least for the United States.
China’s influence in multilateral institutions is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy
The UN and its agencies like the WHO are really the sum of their parts, which is a collective of member states. That makeup is also reflective of the geopolitical realities of the world: The richest and most powerful states tend to have the most leverage. That is, still, the United States, even as it doesn’t always claim to have that role.
The United States, for example, is far and away the largest donor to the UN. While China’s contributions are increasing, in fiscal year 2019, the US’s commitments to the UN’s regular budget were nearly double China’s. (China is the biggest donor to UN peacekeeping missions.) As for the World Health Organization, in 2018 and 2019, the US’s contributions dwarfed China’s in both assessed and voluntary contributions.
There’s no doubt China’s influence is growing, but it is slightly overblown. But when the United States walks away from cooperative bodies — from the Paris climate accord to the WHO — it leaves behind a vacuum. China has hastened to fill it, and that, more than anything, is bolstering Beijing’s rise and influence. It gives China a chance to be a good guy — say, pledging $30 million to the WHO when the US threatened to withdraw, a fraction of the money the US provides annually. The Trump administration, in abandoning institutions for being too China-centric, is allowing them to become just that. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Again, this is not to say the US doesn’t have legitimate criticisms of the WHO, or China. But by refusing to work within the system, it is actively ceding leverage and losing credibility. Last week, in a discussion with reporters about the implications of the US leaving the WHO, Elizabeth Cousens, the president and CEO of the UN Foundation, said that even as the US is trying to push the WHO to reform, it’s “losing influence in that conversation because they’ve stepped off the field.”
The US can’t officially withdraw from the WHO until July 2021 because it must fulfill certain financial commitments through then. But that undermines trust in the United States as a reliable partner. China is happy to try to fill that gap.
And Trump’s anger at some of these multilateral institutions is somewhat misplaced. For all his “America is the best” rhetoric, he’s suggesting the United Nation has powers that it just doesn’t have, in part because powerful member states don’t want it to. It’s not as though the US likes supranational bodies getting involved in its affairs.
The UN system is far from perfect. But as Stewart Patrick, an expert on global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me before Trump’s speech, past presidents used to criticize the United Nations “more in sorrow than in anger” — in other words, this body is imperfect and needs to be reformed. But Trump’s wholesale rejection doesn’t achieve those ends. If America wants UN bodies to work for its interests, then it has to work within them, rally support, defend, and make the case for them. That’s what China tried to do on Tuesday.
China might not succeed in this because global cooperation is as much a means to an end, in this case to build up China as a great power.
Take the quest for an effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine. In Trump’s speech, he said: “We will distribute a vaccine. We will defeat the virus. We will end the pandemic. And we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation, and peace.” What he notably didn’t mention were any specific commitments to the rest of the world.
Alternatively, Xi claimed China had a “safe and effective vaccine,” then added that “there is a particular need in terms of leadership for the leaders of this movement to cooperate and collaborate with the most vulnerable countries.” He also pledged $50 million to help the UN’s Covid-19 humanitarian response.
But here’s the thing: Neither the United States nor China is among the 156 countries participating in a WHO-linked initiative to invest in Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and distribute them equitably around the world. You might understand that from Trump’s speech, but not necessarily China’s.
And that’s the point: Actions matter. If the US wanted to make the case that China isn’t a good global partner, putting its weight behind a vaccine project would show China isn’t the responsible actor it claims to be. It would also be using multilateral institutions in the US’s interests. But the Trump administration has not done so — and it’s not stopping China from doing it, either.
Source: vox.com “At the UN, China’s Xi showed he understands the system better than Trump”
Published: 2020/9/22 18:18:40 Last Updated: 2020/9/22 22:58:33
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at a high-level UN meeting on Monday, which stressed that “No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself,” sent a strong warning against US hegemony and bullying practices that threaten to upend the world order and stability, observers said on Tuesday.
In his speech at a high-level meeting to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations on Monday, Xi noted that the UN must stand firm for justice, uphold the rule of law, promote cooperation and focus on real action.
Relations between countries and coordination of their interests must only be based on rules and institutions, and they must not be lorded over by those who wave a strong fist at others, Xi said.
Cold War mentality, ideological lines or zero-sum games are no solution to a country’s problems, still less an answer to mankind’s common challenges, Xi noted.
Chinese analysts noted it was a clear message to the US, which is stubbornly heading to the dead end of unilateralism in the hope of safeguarding its own privilege while exploiting the development opportunities of others.
“This is a clear message opposing the Trump administration’s recklessly quitting international organizations and pushing a unilateral agenda with hegemonic power,” Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
“It is an ironic contrast that the US was a fervent advocate of a multilateral world when the UN was established, and today it has become the biggest troublemaker for the world order when it thought the order no longer meets its own needs,” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Tuesday’s press conference also noted that Xi’s address to the UN’s high-level meeting shows China’s firm determination in upholding UN-centered multilateralism and the world order based on international law, and safeguarding UN’s core role in international affairs while always acting as a practitioner of multilateralism.
Xi has recently called for the upholding of multilateralism and opposition to hegemony multiple times. In early September, when the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the victory of the anti-Fascist War, Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged messages and Xi said he was ready to work with his Russian counterpart to join efforts with the international community to resolutely safeguard international fairness and justice.
At a symposium commemorating the victory, Xi noted “the Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to jeopardize their peaceful life and right to development, obstruct their exchanges and cooperation with other peoples, or undermine the noble cause of peace and development for humanity.”
Xi, in a speech delivered via video at the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services, pledged that China will promote greater harmonization of rules for the services sector at the multilateral and regional levels, and work for continued improvement in global economic governance and more inclusive growth of the world economy.
Source: Global Times “Xi’s remarks at UN high-level meeting send ‘another stern message opposing US unilateralism, hegemony’”
Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Still uncertain about its future, Huawei continues, despite everything, to pursue its projects and its product lines. We know that the commercial clock is ticking for the manufacturer. Indeed, since mid-September, the business has become tough with an almost impossibility of being able to continue trading with the usual partners (Samsung, WD, Micron, Kioxia and, lately, Sharp). Chips, screens, memories … difficult for Huawei to maintain a regular production rate but AMD could come to the rescue.
Indeed, after Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Hynix and MediaTek, here is another noise swelling. A partnership with none other than AMD which has been successful for many months now. According to the transcript of a conference between Ross Seymore and Forrest Norrod, the whole of which was relayed by Chinese sources yesterday, September 18, the VP of AMD confirmed that the company has obtained a license to supply Huawei, and it is not expected to The US “Huawei ban” has a significant impact on AMD’s business.
THE CHINESE ARE MASSIVELY BUYING HUAWEI DEVICES DESPITE THE PRICE RISE
Against the background of what is happening in China, the price tags for Huawei smartphones have risen. Prices for selected models have already increased by 40% compared to January this year. For example, the cost of the already expensive Huawei Mate 30 RS Porsche Design increased by $443.7. On average, the cost of the company’s devices increased by $60-74. Wholesale consignments of devices are bought up in minutes. Electronics retailers have to rush as prices for Huawei devices are rising almost hourly.
The high demand for the company’s devices in China is because many decided to have time to buy smartphones before they disappear from stores. Consumers understand that Huawei will not have enough stock of processors for a long time. So in the future, they will not be able to purchase gadgets from this manufacturer. Because their release will be discontinued.
Huawei P40 wallpapers
Analysts say that the company’s stock of components will be enough until the middle of next year. Naturally, much will depend on the pace of production Huawei will adhere to. Most likely, it will follow the path of reducing its own model range, and will also introduce restrictions on the number of gadgets produced.
I must say that Chinese users, driven by patriotic feelings, all the time since the imposition of sanctions in May 2019, have been actively supporting Huawei, actively purchasing its smartphones. It is on the patriotism of the Chinese that the company’s success in the mobile market this year is based. And we must pay tribute to them that now they have not turned away from Huawei, but continue to actively buy its smartphones.
Source: gizchina.com “AMD HAS REPORTEDLY OBTAINED A LICENSE TO SUPPLY HUAWEI”
Note: This is gizechina.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Trump is making false claims about his record in struggling states like Ohio and Michigan. The jobs haven’t come back. They’ve been offshored to China.
John Cavanagh, Opinion contributor
As he courts Midwestern voters, President Donald Trump is returning to hard-hit manufacturing regions where he made big, bold promises in his last campaign. “If I’m elected…. you won’t lose one plant, I promise you that,” he told Michigan voters at a rally in October 2016. In fact, his big stick approach to global trade negotiations would bring jobs back home. Or so he claimed.
Four years later, it’s clear that Trump’s trade policies have failed U.S. workers. Instead of more good jobs, his ever-escalating trade wars have led to higher costs, lost markets, and more plant closures. Economic Policy Institute research shows that nearly 1,800 U.S. factories disappeared between 2016 and 2018.
In manufacturing-heavy Ohio, Trump’s tit-for-tat tariff battle with China was a major factor in the drop in annual job growth from 36,200 in 2016 to 3,700 in 2019, according to a new report I co-authored. Average weekly earnings for Ohio manufacturing workers also declined during this period.
In Michigan, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford have all closed plants since Trump’s brash campaign trail commitments. Auto companies as a whole reduced their investment in the state by 29% over the three full years of Trump’s presidency, compared with the previous three years under Obama.
Trump tariff battle with China hurts
Where were U.S. manufacturing companies investing? China. Trump’s war of words with Beijing has done nothing to stop American companies from pouring resources into this fast-growing market.
In 2019, U.S. firms invested $14 billion in China — more than in 2016, the year Trump was elected. Tesla and General Motors led the pack, with massive investments in electric vehicle production. These two companies’ decisions to expand in China were motivated in part by Beijing’s consumer subsidies for pollution-reducing technologies.
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 29, 2019, in Osaka, Japan.
But Trump also bears personal responsibility for encouraging offshoring because of the corporate tax cuts he pushed through Congress in 2017. U.S.-based companies no longer owe Uncle Sam anything on offshore profits up to a certain threshold. Above that level, they owe a federal tax rate that’s just half of what they’d pay for domestic profits.
As a result, corporations can save on their IRS bills by shipping jobs overseas. Big companies like General Motors took their tax break and then shipped thousands of jobs out of Ohio, Michigan, and other states.
Trump’s economic debacle:Biden’s central message must be his plan for American recovery
What’s Trump saying now, as he once again stumps in these struggling industrial powerhouses?
Don’t expect any apologies for his broken promises. Instead, you’ll hear false claims about all the car plants he’s supposedly created in these states. On Sept. 10 in Freeland, Michigan, he went so far as to claim that he’d “brought back our manufacturing jobs” and added: “If Biden wins, China wins.”
Of course, these are lies. The jobs haven’t come back. But even as he doubles down on his failed trade war with China, Trump continues to reward the corporations that offshored jobs there.
More broken promises from Trump
For instance, the president is now lobbing grenades directly at Chinese firms like technology giant Huawei and the TikTok video app. Meanwhile, he’s proposing tax breaks for big U.S. companies that return jobs to the United States. Essentially, taxpayers would have to pay big corporations to try to buy their jobs back.
There’s a better way to address the hemorrhaging of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
We need a trade policy overhaul that lifts up wages and working conditions for workers everywhere — including in China. If corporations were to face strong penalties for violations of labor and human rights, they would be less eager to slash U.S. jobs to exploit workers elsewhere.
Don’t buy his tough act: Trump has been a great president for China. For America amid coronavirus, not so much.
That would be good news for workers in all countries. And in light of the pandemic, when the large-scale offshoring of production for personal protective equipment created critical shortages, keeping more production at home would be good news for the rest of us, too.
This new trade policy should be part of an overall economic plan that ensures large corporations are contributing their fair share to our national recovery. To get America back on its feet, we’ll need strategically targeted public investment in job creation, health and social services, new infrastructure, and the green industries of the future. Any trade rules that restrict such crisis responses must be abolished.
Trump’s brute force tactics with China have backfired. We need a fresh new alternative that will deliver a worker-centered recovery — and make us better prepared for future crises.
John Cavanagh is director of the Institute for Policy Studies and a co-author of “How Trade Policy Failed U.S. Workers — and How to Fix It,” published by IPS, Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center and the Groundwork Collaborative.
Source: USA Today “Trump trade wars have led to lost US jobs and factories. We need a worker-centered recovery.”
Note: This is USA Today’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Xi was speaking at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of his country’s victory over Japan in World War 2. In it, he singled out possible threats to the Chinese Communist Party, which has ruled the People’s Republic of China since its inception in 1949.
He warned: “The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to separate the CCP and Chinese people, and to pitch them against each other.
“The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to distort the CCP’s history, and to vilify the CCP’s character and purpose.”
There was no specific mention of either the US or Donald Trump in his speech, ostensibly aimed at a domestic audience.
Xi Jinping has said his country will tolerate no interference (Image: NC)
However, his remarks will be widely interpreted as a reference to tensions with Washington in a number of areas.
Beijing is deeply unhappy and ongoing freedom of movement exercises being undertaken by US naval ships in the South China Sea, the vast majority of which China claims sovereignty over.
In addition, China is locked in an ongoing and wide-ranging trade dispute with the US which has seen punitive lobbies slapped on billions of pounds of exports going in either direction.
China is also angry at ongoing contacts between the US and Taiwan, which it regards as part of its territory.
Xi’s speech, which was unusually combative by Chinese standards, underlines how seriously the superpower views the prospect of external interference.
In particular, Mike Pompeo, who regularly refers to the CCP, and not China, as a nation recent months, has been singled out for criticism.
Chinese officials also have threatened “consequences” to countries ranging from Czech Republic, whose speaker, Milos Vystrcil, visited Taiwan this week, to the UK for perceived provocations.
Chinese leaders have repeatedly emphasied the Communist Party’s ability to stand up to foreign aggression.
Xi has frequently sought to whip up nationalist sentiment as a way of consolidating his grasp on power.
South China Sea
On the subject of Taiwan, Tobias Ellwood MP, the chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told Express.co.uk yesterday: “I think the gloves have come off.
“I think it is very clear now that China is not maturing into this responsible, global stakeholder that we hoped they would be.
“They are now an economic powerhouse following their own rules.
“What we saw in Hong Kong is just a wake-up call for what we should anticipate happening in Taiwan if we ignore their advances.”
Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing: “The one-China principle is the political basis and fundamental precondition for the establishment and development of China-US diplomatic ties.
“We urge the United States to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, to stop lifting its substantial relationship with Taiwan and to cease any forms of official contact with Taiwan, so as not stray further down an erroneous path.”
Source: EXPRESS “China threat: Don’t dare interfere, Xi says in veiled warning to Trump”
Note: This is EXPRESS’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Reuters says in its report “China says firmly opposes U.S. suppression of Huawei” on Tuesday 18 August, “China said on Tuesday it firmly opposes U.S. suppression of Huawei Technologies Co, after the Trump administration announced it would further tighten restrictions on the company.”
US tech war attacks focus mostly on Chinese companies with better technologies than US ones. The attacks really hit China’s weak points and do make Chinese companies suffer. Why does China respond only with words? On the contrary instead of counterattacks, China provides preferential treatment to US companies especially those with better technologies than Chinese ones such as Tesla in order to make good use of foreign resources.
In Xi Jinping’s article on China’s current Marxist political economy on August 16, Xi says China shall firmly adhere to its basic national policy of opening up. It shall thus make good use of both domestic and foreign markets and resources. Trump is stupid to refuse to make good use of Chinese resources. He has thus caused losses to both China and his own country. Chinese leaders will be as stupid as Trump if they respond out of the emotion of retaliation instead of China’s national interests.
How a Lazy Historical Analogy Derailed Washington’s China Strategy
By Michael McFaul
August 10, 2020
Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, October 2019
Thomas Peter / Reuters
In a series of speeches this summer, senior officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump have cast the United States and China as antagonists in a new Cold War. Speaking to the Arizona Commerce Authority in June, U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien compared Chinese President Xi Jinping directly to the Soviet dictator in power when the actual Cold War began: “Let us be clear, the Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist organization. The Party General Secretary Xi Jinping sees himself as Josef Stalin’s successor.”
A month later in California, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo gave a speech about Xi that President Harry Truman could have delivered about Stalin. “General Secretary Xi Jinping is a true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology,” he said, adding that Xi’s ideology “informs his decades-long desire for global hegemony of Chinese communism.” Echoing American policymakers at the beginning of the Cold War, Pompeo framed the fight with Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as one in which only one side ultimately could win: “If the free world doesn’t change . . . communist China will surely change us.” He later repeated his warning on Twitter, writing, “China is working to take down freedom all across the world.”
In fact, Truman did give a similar speech to Congress on March 12, 1947, establishing what became known as the Truman Doctrine. Warning about the communist threat, Truman declared:
At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one. One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression. The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
Three years later, in April 1950, Truman approved a secret policy paper known as NSC-68, which laid out his strategy for containing communism around the world. Passages from the document sound eerily like Pompeo’s and O’Brien’s speeches:
The Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world. Conflict has, therefore, become endemic and is waged, on the part of the Soviet Union, by violent or non-violent methods in accordance with the dictates of expediency . . . The issues that face us are momentous, involving the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.
The Trump administration seems intent on resurrecting this spirit in its dealings with China—indeed, a string of sanctions against CCP and Hong Kong officials, bans on Chinese technology and apps, expulsions of Chinese journalists and students, and the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston all seem designed in part to accelerate a Cold War with Beijing. To their credit, Pompeo, O’Brien, and other U.S. officials recognize that China’s rise will be the defining challenge for U.S. foreign policy in this century. They are also right to underscore that U.S.-Chinese competition is not only about power but also about ideology: the United States is a democracy (albeit an increasingly flawed one); China is a dictatorship that has grown more autocratic under Xi. And like the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, both countries use various media, economic and technological assistance, formal alliances, ties with political parties, covert operations, and in the case of the United States, sometimes even military intervention to advance their respective ideologies.
But is Xi really Stalin’s heir, as O’Brien claimed and as other U.S. officials seem to think? The basis for such a comparison is thin. Perhaps Xi and his comrades truly seek to conquer the entire world and replace all democracies with Marxist-Leninist dictatorships—I am not expert enough to judge their intentions nor currently privy to classified intelligence. Maybe Xi has given his blessing to a secret strategy, much like Truman did when he signed off on NSC-68, that elaborates a grand design to impose communist dictatorships everywhere and rule the world. But as Pompeo himself argued, Washington should “act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave.” And that is where the analogy with Stalin falls apart.
Xi most closely approximates Stalin in the way he rules his country: he could well remain in power for decades and has created a cult of personality that would impress Stalin’s propagandists. The CCP under Xi runs a ruthless and oppressive dictatorship. It stifles individual freedoms, jails dissidents and rivals, and has sent countless Uighurs and other minorities to internment camps in what some experts have classified as cultural genocide. New technologies give the party surveillance and censorship tools that many Cold War communist regimes could only dream of. But “Xi-ism” is still not Stalinism. Stalin’s regime was far more totalitarian in its control over every aspect of Soviet citizens’ lives. Stalin also killed millions and imprisoned millions more, rivaled in brutality only by Hitler and Mao. Xi does not make this list.
Chinese citizens enjoy much greater autonomy over their own economic well-being than Soviet citizens did in the early days of the Cold War—a product of China’s more open, market-oriented, and globally integrated economy. On this dimension, the comparison is not even close.
Washington needs to spend less time trying to trip its opponent and more time trying to become a better athlete.
Look to foreign policy, and the analogy unravels further. Stalin openly proclaimed his desire for a global communist revolution, hoping to create a network of socialist states under Moscow’s rule—and it wasn’t just talk. In the early years of the Cold War, his Red Army soldiers, intelligence officers, and Communist Party agents aggressively imposed communism across Eastern Europe. He provided aid to Mao’s Chinese Communist Party and covert assistance to communists in Greece, encouraged proxy military forces in the Korean War, and supported coups around the world. He dissolved the Communist International, or Comintern, in 1943, when allied with the United States and Great Britain during World War II, but he replaced it with another global Communist Party alliance, the Cominform, in 1947.
Xi, by contrast, has not orchestrated the overthrow of a single regime. Hong Kong comes closest, considering Beijing’s expanding acts of repression there. (Arresting Hong Kong media owner Jimmy Lai for allegedly “colluding with foreign forces,” as Beijing did on Monday, is exactly what Stalin’s thugs in eastern Europe used to do.) But questions of sovereignty cloud the analogy. Beijing has also invested tremendous resources in propagating its ideas, most of which are antithetical to liberalism and democracy, and provided surveillance technologies and economic aid to sustain autocracies in other countries. But Xi has yet to instigate a coup, arm insurgents, or invade a democracy and install a communist regime. Little suggests that he seeks to subvert American democracy. (Russian President Vladimir Putin has been much bolder and more aggressive on that front.) And although the United Front Work Department—one of the CCP’s main agents of influence overseas—warrants close scrutiny, its efforts to export the Chinese system of government seem feeble and ineffective next to Soviet tactics. Promoting a positive image of Xi’s China or proclaiming the economic benefits of its development model is not the same as invading countries or providing AK-47s and Katyusha rocket launchers to communist guerrillas. If Xi and his comrades are actually trying to promote Marxism-Leninism-Maoism around the world, they are doing a bad job of it.
CHINA AS IT IS
Truman and his administration justifiably responded to Soviet aggressions by mobilizing to contain communism. Guided by the belief that “a defeat of free institutions anywhere is a defeat everywhere,” as NSC-68 put it, Truman and successive Cold War presidents forged enduring alliances, constructed a liberal international order that has lasted decades, and created a network of governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to democracy promotion. Studying these successes could offer valuable lessons on how to deal with China today. But the United States also at times overreacted and oversimplified, seeing every leftist and national liberation movement as an enemy to be defeated. That mindset contributed to some of the worst American excesses during the Cold War, including McCarthyism, the fictitious “missile gap,” the Vietnam War, and support for brutal right-wing dictatorships, including even apartheid in South Africa. (The Trump administration’s current indifference to the communist dictatorship in Vietnam is striking.) And the Cold War was not cold; the scholars David Holloway and Stephen Stedman estimate that 20 million people died between 1945 and 1989 in 130 wars, many of them fueled by superpower rivalry. Mistaking Xi for a new Stalin could lead the United States to repeat those mistakes.
The Cold War lasted 40 years. For most of that period, victory was uncertain. For Washington to be successful in what may be an even longer contest, it must diagnose the severity of the threat precisely and calibrate efforts to contain and deter Beijing accordingly. False analogies from the Cold War hurt both of these efforts. Washington shouldn’t spend trillions on nuclear arms, missiles, and space weapons. It shouldn’t fight proxy wars. And most important, it shouldn’t stumble into a direct confrontation with China. U.S. foreign-policy makers must resist the impulse to check every Chinese move around the world, like Truman believed he had to do with Stalin. This line of thinking compelled U.S. Cold War strategists to double and triple down on the tragic, unnecessary war in Vietnam. Today, Americans know that they did not need to contain communism in Vietnam to defeat the Soviets. (And by the way, Eastern Europeans—Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, and many others—played the central role in defeating Soviet communism and ending the Cold War, not Americans.) Threat assessments, in other words, should never go unquestioned. Are freedom and democracy really under worldwide assault if Laos or Rwanda imports Chinese-made Internet equipment? Or if the Chinese develop Belt and Road Initiative projects in Ghana or Italy? Should every Chinese citizen in the United States be treated as a spy? By trying to contain the Chinese everywhere, Washington may undermine containment in areas where its vital national security interests are actually at stake. And as the Cold War showed, success will depend in no small measure on the United States’ ability to improve at home—to boost innovation and R & D and invest in education, health care, infrastructure, and democracy. Washington needs to spend less time trying to trip its opponent and more time trying to become a better athlete.
The United States must understand China “as it is,” to quote Pompeo again, not as some in Washington want it to be. The Trump administration undoubtedly would like a Stalinist leader to be in charge in Beijing, if only to better mobilize and unite Americans against him. But China “as it is” is not ruled by a new Stalin. Asserting otherwise doesn’t change that fact and gets in the way of developing a sophisticated, successful U.S. policy to contain, deter, and engage China over the long haul.
Source: Foreign Affairs “Xi Jinping Is Not Stalin”
Note: This is Foreign Affairs’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Large majorities of the U.S. public, both Democrats and Republicans, align with the Trump administration’s dismal view of China, giving the embattled president a potential appealing drum to bang in an increasingly uphill reelection campaign, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
According to the survey, 73 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of China, up from 47 percent just two years ago. The main complaints echo President Donald Trump’s: the nature of the two countries’ economic relationship and China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 64 percent surveyed felt that China had done a bad job handling the pandemic, and 78 percent believe the Chinese government deserves at least some blame for the global spread of the virus. While Republicans are more likely to hold a negative view of China on most issues than Democrats, U.S.-China economic ties particularly concern Democrats.
Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of respondents said U.S.-China economic relations were in bad shape. While Republicans are more likely to hold a negative view of China on most issues than Democrats, U.S.-China economic ties particularly concern Democrats, with 73 percent saying relations are bad—10 percentage points more than Republicans—which could offer Trump a lifeline in must-win Rust Belt states hit hard by years of Chinese economic depredation and the ongoing trade war.
This poll comes as Trump and his administration have taken an increasingly hawkish stance on China. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo capped a quartet of tough administration speeches last Thursday by slamming the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), accusing it of having designs on “global hegemony” and calling on “the freedom-loving nations of the world [to] induce China to change.” While giving testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo called the CCP “the central threat of our times.”
The two countries have also ramped up their diplomatic quarrel, with Pompeo slamming China’s maritime pretensions in the South China Sea and both states closing each other’s consulates.
The Trump administration has been of two minds about China from the start, with many hawks inside the administration seeking a confrontational approach and an outright decoupling of the world’s biggest economic relationship. Trump, meanwhile, coddled Chinese President Xi Jinping, held off criticizing Chinese actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and touted his mini trade deal with China this year as an economic panacea. (Spoiler: It wasn’t.)
But the new survey suggests that American public attitudes toward China have hardened for good, which indicates that the Trump administration’s aggressive approach could become the new norm, burying nearly 50 years of engagement kicked off with President Richard Nixon’s famous visit to Beijing in 1972. (And the feeling is mutual: A poll released by the Eurasia Group Foundation in April found that only 39 percent of the Chinese public held a favorable view of the United States.)Americans are still largely divided over the best way forward.
That could hem in any effort by a future Joe Biden administration to chart a more moderate course toward China—if there remains any desire by a Democratic president to return to a less confrontational stance. One caveat: According to Pew, there is a slim, but shrinking, majority for building a stronger economic relationship, which could give the next administration leeway to back off the Trump administration’s harshest measures.
But Americans are still largely divided over the best way forward. Fifty-one percent still believe it is more important to build a stronger relationship with China, but 46 percent feel that the get-tough approach will be more effective. Despite that discrepancy, the number of those who favor a more aggressive stance has risen sharply since 2019.
Not that a return to the old politics of engagement is necessarily in the cards. “Trump is defining the 2020 electoral agenda in other ways. He has ramped up his isolationist and Sinophobic rhetoric … and accused his rival of being soft on Beijing,” Foreign Policy’s Michael Hirsh wrote this month. “As he is doing with the culture war, Trump is forcing Biden to respond to his lead, rather than merely reacting to his challenger’s attacks.”
Why China Isn’t Taking Pompeo’s Bait
After the top U.S. diplomat’s adversarial speech last week, Beijing’s response was surprisingly mild.
Why Did Trump Shut Down China’s Houston Consulate?
The move is part of a series of provocative steps that will only make the U.S.-China relationship worse.
Source: Foreign Policy “When It Comes to China, Americans Think Like Trump”
Note: This is Fpreign Policy’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.