USEUROPEAFRICAASIA中文双语FrançaisHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILEOpinionCartoonsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsFrom the PressOpinion LineFrom the ReadersBureau ChiefForum TrendsHome / Opinion / EditorialsTrump asking too much from Beijing on peninsula issue
China Daily | Updated:2017-08-14 07:30Sino-US trade / China DailyUS President Donald Trump will reportedly sign an executive memorandum on Monday authorizing the US trade representative to determine whether to investigate the allegedly “unfair” Chinese trade practices, which could pave the way for punitive tariffs on Chinese exports.
But it is of critical strategic significance that his administration demonstrates reason and avoids making a rash decision it will soon regret.
Given Trumps transactional approach to foreign affairs, it is impossible to look at the matter without taking into account his increasing disappointment at what he deems as Chinas failure to bring into line the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. His idea of exploiting trade as a bargaining chip in dealings with China dates back to the campaign trail.
But instead of advancing the United States interests, politicizing trade will only acerbate the countrys economic woes, and poison the overall China-US relationship.
Blaming China for “unfair” trade is unfair in the first place. The trade imbalance, regular fodder for China-bashing on Capitol Hill, is, to a great extent, self-inflicted, an outcome of the US political restrictions on exports to China. Yet this essential aspect is conspicuously absent in the US narrative. The list of US gains in trade with China can grow or shrink, depending on how trade issues are handled.
While Trumps prior identity as a businessman may explain his transactional propensity, the deal he seeks demands the impossible of Beijing.
It is unfair for him to consign the burden of dissuading Pyongyang on Beijing; likewise to accuse Beijing of doing “little” or “nothing”.
East Asia expert and former US ambassador to the Republic of Korea Christopher Hill was correct in observing Trump should not “outsource” the US own troubles to China.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping again told Trump on Saturday, Beijing also seeks denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It would not have voted in favor of the latest United Nations resolution against Pyongyangs missile/nuclear adventures if this was not the case. The only difference is, Beijing wants to break the circle of escalation.
By trying to incriminate Beijing as an accomplice in the DPRKs nuclear adventure and blame it for a failure that is essentially a failure of all stakeholders, Trump risks making the serious mistake of splitting up the international coalition that is the means to resolve the issue peacefully.
Hopefully Trump will find another path. Things will become even more difficult if Beijing and Washington are pitted against each other.Related StoriesOutdated, unilateral US trade tools against China set to hurt bothUS Trade Act wont impede Chinas progressChina links foil row to future of US tradeExperts frown on US trade action talkCartoonsImported garbageGreen new homeSouth China SeaHate has no home thereSteve Bannon is out at White HouseFreedom of navigation?Most Viewed in 24 HoursFroum trendsHow do foreigners view govts push against desertification?Is mahjong gaining popularity worldwide?ColumnistsUS trade policy shows it seeks to be both player and refereeTrump will find there is no quick fix to end war in AfghanistanForumFeatured ContributorsTraveling on board Chinas trains for 30 yearsJoint drill dangerous game for PeninsulaChina Daily Bureau ChiefsChongqing and Chengdu City Cluster on faster trackXi-Ma meeting brings historic opportunitiesStar BloggersThe past 5 years: Chinas global leadershipGetting stared at in China: Cultural curiosity, globalization and racismBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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