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Thread: Trump's Asia

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    So this is what a pro-China publication's authors look like:
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/authors.html
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  2. #17
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Trump's Trade War

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin should talk to people in the US embassy in Beijing about negotiating with China. They know whatís what. The guy heís taking with him, Peter Navarro, hasnít a clue.

    Peter Navarro is an academic. He might be called a corporate philanthropy expert (his PhD topic), or the wind power guy (policy work in the early 1980s). In economic matters, he is an elitist protectionist, but, he is no more of a China expert than Mr Trump is a highly stable genius.

    Whereas Mr Trump doesnít speak sense, Dr Navarro doesnít speak China. Or, trade policy. Or, Chinese.

    In The Coming China Wars, he clearly is out of his depth. He says he wants to find a middle ground between Yellow Hoards fear-mongers and two billion armpits marketers, but he obviously is more of a hoards kind of guy. His ranting and raving about currency manipulation would be quaint if the book wasnít released immediately after the PBoC realigned the renminbi.

    Bad timing? Then, why repeat the same nonsense five years later, in Death By China? The Rmb was up about 22% between his first and second books, which made any serious China-focused economist acknowledge that the accusation was no longer valid.

    Trumpís Top China Expert Isnít a China Expert
    Foreign Policy Magazine, March 13, 2017:
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/13/...-china-expert/
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  3. #18
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Whereas Mr Trump doesn’t speak sense, Dr Navarro doesn’t speak China. Or, trade policy. Or, Chinese.
    All this means is China has an even bigger problem. This is why we see them scramble to make friends. With the EU and recently with India.

    If the chips are down can they mitigate it somehow

    Let's see how this pans out : )
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 May 18, at 23:50.

  4. #19
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    Navarro is a moderately successful MBA teacher who's decided that running a business is exactly the same thing as running a national economy, and can't be bothered (or is unable) to read a book on global supply chains and productivity increases that doesn't date past 1920.

  5. #20
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    If more qualified people refuse to work with this administration then he has to work with what is available.

    The one thing i've been waiting for is the usual test China administers shortly after a new US president takes office. Some incident that China causes requiring deft foot work from the administration. Both Bush & Obama had theirs within six months of entering office

    I can't think of a single instance where this applies with Trump as yet.

    Instead the tables have turned and we see the test coming from the opposite direction, for a change
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 May 18, at 19:03.

  6. #21
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    i can see negotiations over the agreement by China to reduce investment restrictions and voluntarily cutting imports, but the rest of the US demands are a very, very hard sell.

    ====

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/b...ade-talks.html

    U.S.-China Trade Talks End With Strong Demands, but Few Signs of a Deal By Keith Bradsher May 4, 2018

    BEIJING — Senior Chinese and American officials concluded two days of negotiations late Friday afternoon with no deal and no date set for further talks, as the United States stepped up its demands for Chinese concessions to avert a potential trade war.

    The American negotiating team, which included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the United States trade representative, Robert E. Lighthizer, headed for the airport after the talks and did not release a statement. But a list of demands that the group brought into the meeting called for reducing the United States’ trade gap with China by $200 billion over the next two years and a halt on Chinese subsidies for advanced manufacturing sectors.

    The demands, which spread on Chinese social media and were confirmed by a person close to the negotiations, suggest that both sides have hardened their positions this week despite the two days of talks. Senior Chinese officials and their advisers sent a deliberate message to the West during a three-day seminar that ended on Monday that the days of conciliation by Beijing were over.

    The person close to the negotiations insisted on anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities.

    The extensive list of United States trade demands was unexpectedly sweeping, and showed that the Trump administration has no intention of backing down despite Beijing’s assertive stance in the last few days. “The list reads like the terms for a surrender rather than a basis for negotiation,” said Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell University.

    Chinese officials put the talks in a positive light. “The two sides agreed that a sound and stable China-U.S. trade relationship is crucial for both, and they are committed to resolving relevant economic and trade issues through dialogue and consultation,” Xinhua, the official news agency, said soon after the talks ended.

    But the negotiations also highlighted key differences — and the American delegation’s tight-lipped departure from Diaoyutai, the parklike enclosure of guesthouses where the talks were held, suggested the two sides had made little headway in solving them.

    For example, China protested penalties that Washington officials imposed last month on ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company, for repeatedly violating American sanctions on Iran. The Commerce Department banned all shipments of American wares to ZTE, including chips and other equipment essential to many of its products. The move appears to have strengthened China’s resolve to continue its drive for self-sufficiency and to curb imports in a variety of high-tech fields.

    China’s push to upgrade its technology accounts for many of its disagreements with the United States. The American document reiterated Trump administration calls for a broad halt of Chinese subsidies to manufacturers in advanced technology industries. Beijing’s $300 billion Made in China 2025 program calls for extensive government assistance to build domestic industries in aircraft manufacturing, semiconductors, artificial intelligence, robotics, electric cars and five other sectors. Chinese officials defend the program as essential to upgrading the economy and have said that they would not agree to any limits on the Made in China program.

    The document also highlighted China’s trade surplus with the United States. It called for a reduction of $100 billion in the coming 12 months and a further $100 billion in the following 12 months, the document said. The American side also said that it wanted to be able to impose new restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States for national security reasons without any retaliation by Beijing, and with an agreement by China to reduce its own investment restrictions.

    The United States also asked that China cut its tariffs on imports by about two-thirds to match those in the United States. China, which now has a manufacturing sector nearly equal in annual output to the United States and Germany combined, contends that it is still a developing country and should be allowed to retain higher tariffs.

    Chinese officials have said that they would be willing to reduce some trade barriers, but only if the United States also lowered trade barriers. Chinese officials particularly object to American limits on the export of high-tech goods that have both civilian and military applications, contending that these restrictions prevent sizable potential exports.

    They also objected to United States demands for a specific cut in the bilateral surplus. Li Gang, the vice president of the Commerce Ministry’s research and training institute, said in a separate interview last month that a $100 billion cut in the surplus was “impossible.” China’s surplus has been widening lately as the United States economy grows fairly strongly and takes in more imports.

    The Commerce Department announced on Thursday in Washington that the trade imbalance with China had widened slightly further in March compared with the same month a year ago, although it narrowed slightly compared to February, possibly for seasonal reasons.

    The lack of a deal this week, and the failure to schedule further talks right away, does not rule out the possibility that Chinese negotiators will visit the United States next month for further talks. One possibility that American officials have considered is whether China might send Vice President Wang Qishan, who is close to President Xi Jinping, on a follow-up trip.

    So far, the Chinese side has been led by Liu He, a Politburo member who is also the vice premier for finance, trade and technology.

    Trade experts have been saying for weeks that Chinese officials would like to resolve the dispute with the United States so that they can go back to focusing on issues closer to home.
    Comments

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    “That’s the immediate problem, because it’s a headache for them that’s distracting from a very pressing domestic agenda,” said Christopher K. Johnson, a former C.I.A. officer who analyzed China and now holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    The Beijing talks were unlikely to result in a comprehensive deal, but experts said they could still be a first step toward reaching some sort of accord.

    “There’s no way our team is going to risk signing up to something without getting back here and making sure that Trump is happy with it first,” Mr. Johnson said. “Maybe there’s also some optics where Trump wants to be seen standing with Wang Qishan and striking the deal.”

    “I think we’re still several jumps down the track from that.”
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  7. #22
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Trump’s Grand Strategy

    US President Donald Trump’s inability to think strategically is undermining longstanding relationships, upending the global order, and accelerating the decline of his country’s global influence – or so the increasingly popular wisdom goes. But this assessment is not nearly as obvious as its proponents – especially political adversaries and critics in the mainstream US media – claim.

    America’s relative decline was a hot topic long before Trump took office. The process began when the United States, emboldened by its emergence from the Cold War as the world’s sole superpower, started to overextend itself significantly by enlarging its military footprint and ramping up its global economic and security commitments.

    America’s “imperial overreach” was first identified during President Ronald Reagan’s administration, which oversaw a frenetic expansion of military spending. It reached crisis levels with the 2003 US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq under President George W. Bush – a watershed moment that caused irreparable damage to America’s international standing.

    On President Barack Obama’s watch, China rapidly expanded its global influence, including by forcibly changing the status quo in the South China Sea (without incurring any international costs). By that point, it was unmistakable: the era of US hegemony was over.

    It is not just that Trump cannot be blamed for America’s relative decline; he may actually be set to arrest it. As unpredictable as Trump can be, several of his key foreign-policy moves suggest that his administration is pursuing a grand strategy aimed at reviving America’s global power.

    For starters, the Trump administration seems eager to roll back America’s imperial overreach, including by avoiding intervention in faraway wars and demanding that allies pay their fair share for defense. The fact is that many NATO members do not fulfill their spending commitments, effectively leaving American taxpayers to subsidize their security.

    These are not new ideas. Before Trump even decided to run for office, pundits were arguing that the US needed to pursue a policy of retrenchment, drastically reducing its international commitments and transferring more of its defense burden onto its allies. But it was not until Trump, who views running a country much like running a business, that the US had a leader who was willing to pursue that path, even if it undermined the values that have long underpinned US foreign policy.

    Trump’s focus on containing China – which FBI Director Christopher Wray recently labeled a far bigger challenge than Russia, even in the area of espionage – fits nicely into this strategy. Successive US presidents, from Richard Nixon to Obama, aided China’s economic rise. Trump, however, regards China not as America’s economic partner, but as “a foe economically” and even, as the official mouthpiece China Daily recently put it, America’s “main strategic rival.”

    In general, Trump’s tariffs aim to put the US back in control of its economic relationships by constraining its ballooning trade deficits, with both friends and foes, and bringing economic activity (and the accompanying jobs) back home. But it is no secret that, above all, Trump’s tariffs target China – a country that has long defied international trade rules and engaged in predatory practices.

    Meanwhile, Trump is also working to ensure that China does not catch up with the US technologically. In particular, his administration seeks to thwart China’s “Made in China 2025” program, the blueprint unveiled by the Chinese government in 2015 for securing global dominance over ten strategic high-tech industries, from robotics to alternative-energy vehicles.

    Trump’s diplomatic activities seem intended to advance this larger strategic vision of reversing America’s relative decline. He has tried to sweet-talk autocratic leaders, from North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, into making concessions – an approach that has garnered its share of criticism. But Trump’s compliments have not translated into kowtowing.

    For example, despite all the controversy over Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, the fact is that, since Trump took office, the US has expelled Russian diplomats, closed a Russian consulate, and imposed three rounds of sanctions on the country. His administration is now threatening to apply extraterritorial sanctions to stop other countries from making “significant” defense deals with Russia, a leading arms exporter.

    Trump has not flattered any foreign leader more than Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he called “terrific” and “a great gentleman.” Yet, again, when Xi refused to yield to Trump’s demands, the US president did not hesitate to hit back “using Chinese tactics,” including suddenly changing negotiating positions and unpredictably escalating trade tensions.

    Even Trump’s direct approach with North Korea undermines China’s position by bypassing it. Trump is right that transforming the US-North Korea relationship matters more than securing complete denuclearization. If he can co-opt North Korea, China’s only formal military ally, northeast Asian geopolitics will be reshaped and China’s lonely rise will be more apparent than ever.

    There are plenty of problems with Trump’s methods. His brassy, theatrical, and unpredictable negotiating style, together with his China-like disregard for international norms, are destabilizing international relations. Domestic troubles like political polarization and legislative gridlock – both of which Trump has actively exacerbated – also weaken America’s hand internationally.

    But there is no denying that Trump’s muscular “America First” approach – which includes one of the most significant military buildups since World War II – reflects a strategic vision that is focused squarely on ensuring that the US remains more powerful than any rival in the foreseeable future.

    Perhaps more important, the transactional approach to international relations on which Trump’s strategy relies is likely to persist long after he leaves office. Friends and foes alike must get used to a more self-seeking America doing everything in its power, no matter the cost, to forestall its precipitous decline.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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