Category Archives: U.S.

Minxin Pei: The future of US-China relations is now anyone’s guess – Nikkei Asian Review

COLLISION COURSE This is by far the worst-case scenario. If Trump fulfills his pledge to impose punishing tariffs on Chinese goods — under U.S. law he can authorize a 15% import duty for 150 days without congressional approval — exports from China to the U.S. would plummet. An estimate by HSBC suggests that in an extreme, albeit unlikely scenario, imposing a 45% levy in tariffs would see Chinese exports to the U.S. cut in half and result in a 2% fall in China’s gross domestic product. A 10% increase in U.S. import duties on Chinese goods, a more likely move, could reduce Chinese exports to the U.S. by 17%. Beijing would likely retaliate by targeting American companies that sell a large quantity of their products to China, with Boeing, Apple and General Motors the most vulnerable.

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Minxin Pei: The future of US-China relations is now anyone’s guess – Nikkei Asian Review

Rubio Calls for Sanctions on Beijing for South China Sea Antics | Foreign Policy

The Trump administration may get an assist in crafting a hawkish stance toward China — from Congress.

One-time presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would slap sanctions on China for its destabilizing actions in the East and South China Seas, where Beijing has built artificial islands and airfields and warned neighboring countries to stay out.

“The People’s Republic of China,” the bill reads, “should not be allowed to continue to pursue illegitimate claims and to militarize an area that is essential to global security.”

Rubio Calls for Sanctions on Beijing for South China Sea Antics | Foreign Policy

Donald Trump Has Disrupted Years of Broken Taiwan Policy | The National Interest

“For the record, let me interject that the United States does not now recognize, and never has, a “One China” of which Taiwan is a part.”

Mr. Trump is now the butt of similarly ill-informed commentary by both media figures and former U.S. diplomats who should know better. For the record, let me interject that the United States does not now recognize, and never has, a “One China” of which Taiwan is a part.

The December 15, 1978, U.S.-China Normalization Communiqué states that the U.S. side “acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.” It is often forgotten that two months later, on February 22, 1979, President Carter’s deputy secretary of state, Warren Christopher, explained in Senate hearings that the United States has “acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China, but the United States has not [italics in original] itself agreed to this position.” This remains the position of the United States today.

Donald Trump Has Disrupted Years of Broken Taiwan Policy | The National Interest

Economist: Trump must prepare for a showdown with China | Fox News

“President-elect Trump must prepare for a diplomatic and perhaps military showdown in the Pacific and to confront Beijing on the massive trade imbalance that finances Chinese mercantilism and adventurism.”

Just as menacing are the trillions of dollars in cumulative trade surpluses China has amassed that are financing a dramatic pivot in its industrial, military and foreign policies, threatening security in the Pacific and America’s standing with allies around the globe.

As wages rise in Chinese coastal manufacturing centers, jobs move farther west in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, causing major social disruptions. For example, Dongguan, near Hong Kong, has endured job losses on a scale similar to large Midwestern cities in the U.S.

To buffer job losses and limit political unrest, Beijing is pursuing a two-pronged strategy.

Economist: Trump must prepare for a showdown with China | Fox News

Trump and Taiwan: The Meaning of a Phone Call – The Atlantic

“The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,” Evan Medeiros, former Asia director at the White House National Security Council, told the FT. “Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for U.S.-China relations.”

Ari Fleischer, Bush’s first White House press secretary, noted that he wasn’t even allowed to refer to a Taiwanese government. My colleague James Fallows, not generally a man given to overreaction or caps-lock, was blunter: “WHAT THE HELL????” he tweeted.

As is typically the case with Trump, it’s hard to tell whether this blithe overturning of protocol is intentional or simply a result of not knowing, or caring, better.

Trump and Taiwan: The Meaning of a Phone Call – The Atlantic

Donald Trump’s New World Order – The American Interest

Let us begin with the geopolitical landscape that Trump inherits from his predecessor. In his most recent book World Order (2014), Kissinger argues that the world is in a parlous condition verging on international anarchy. This is not only because of shifts in the material balance of power from West to East, but also because the legitimacy of the postwar world order is being challenged. Four competing visions of world order—the European-Westphalian, the Islamic, the Chinese, and the American—are each in varying stages of metamorphosis, if not decay. Consequently, real legitimacy inheres broadly in none of these visions. The emergent properties of the new world disorder are the formation of “regional blocs” with incompatible worldviews.1 These, he fears, are likely to rub up against one another in a way that escalates: “A struggle between regions could be even more destructive than the struggle between nations has been.”

Donald Trump’s New World Order – The American Interest

Air Force: Hypersonic Missiles From China, Russia Pose Growing Danger

The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study.

“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.

Air Force: Hypersonic Missiles From China, Russia Pose Growing Danger

Is Michael Flynn Donald Trump’s Machiavelli? | The National Interest

A large, anti-democratic alliance is waging war against the United States.

If there is a theme to the book, it is that enmity toward the United States has drawn together a vast, disparate set of malevolent actors into an anti-Western alliance. The world’s various authoritarian regimes often find common cause with one another and with the radical Islamists who threaten the American way of life. Al Qaeda, ISIS and their fundamentalist partners are actively supported by Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and a host of others. While these countries may differ over details at times, their shared hatred of freedom unites them against the West. Like it or not, according to Flynn and Ledeen, the United States will be waging a war against this alliance – and they call it an alliance – for generations to come.

Is Michael Flynn Donald Trump’s Machiavelli? | The National Interest

Donald Trump and the Coming War on ‘Radical Islam’ – The Atlantic

Donald Trump may soon steer the government in a different direction. Several of the president-elect’s national-security appointees have argued that the United States is at war with “radical Islamic terrorism,” or “radical Islam,” or something broader still, such as “Islamism.” They have described this war as a primarily ideological struggle to preserve Western civilization, like the wars against Nazism and communism. The war is not confined to extremist Sunni Muslims or extremist Shia Muslims; the Islamic State and the Islamic Republic of Iran are seen as two sides of the same coin. Notably, these appointees have put forth this sweeping vision before taking charge of the nation’s security—before a terrorist attack has occurred on their watch.

Donald Trump and the Coming War on ‘Radical Islam’ – The Atlantic

Consequences of a U.S.-China Trade War | RealClearWorld

China’s economy is still heavily reliant upon exports, especially exports to the United States. Diminished returns from free trade will put increased pressure on China’s already weakened economy, and the likelihood of civil unrest in the country will increase. China is a large economy, mostly by virtue of its population.  GDP per capita remains just below $8,000, and that GDP is not equally distributed, meaning the common Chinese has little wiggle room before economic contraction becomes catastrophic. Put simply, China can ill afford to reduce exports.

Trump’s victory reflects dissatisfaction with globalization in the United States. …

China is thus faced with a “Hobson’s choice.” If Beijing attempts to accommodate American demands, it risks domestic unrest as its economy contracts. If China refuses to accommodate changes, then it risks a punitive American response, potentially producing a trade war it cannot afford. China cannot even threaten to cut off production access in the long term, as Washington could simply return to the TPP to fill that need.

Consequences of a U.S.-China Trade War | RealClearWorld