This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 14, 2019:
China made clear its reticence to do anything more than stall, delay, dither, and otherwise put off any serious discussions on items of real importance in its announcement on Friday. Said the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily: “China’s position of safeguarding the nation’s core interests and the fundamental interests of its people cannot be shaken. On issues of principle it is impossible to engage and impossible to solve the problem by exerting pressure on the Chinese side.”
Translation: The communists running China have little interest in giving up essential “safeguards” such as the freedom to manipulate its currency to its advantage, require American companies wanting to do business in China to give up essential competitive advantages, and continue state funding of state-owned and controlled companies to the disadvantage of those American companies now trying to compete against them using those competitive advantages.
That puts into proper perspective the Twitter announcement made by the president on Saturday: “The deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country. In fact, there is a question as to whether or not this much product can be produced? Our farmers will figure it out. Thank you China!”
Thanks for nothing. There is no deal. There is nothing in writing. What’s promised is that, sometime in the distant future, there might be a deal that confirms that the United States gave up a strategic advantage by not raising tariffs further tomorrow in exchange for a paper promise that the Chinese government might authorize the purchase of more pork and soybeans from the United States.
Other than that, “phase one” is a mirage. And now comes news that the communists don’t even want to sign anything before the end of the month, pending “further discussions.” Vastly more important topics such as intellectual property theft, state-funded competition, currency manipulation, and others are left hanging in the ether. As Chao Deng, writing for the Wall Street Journal, expressed it, “Whether those hard issues ever get resolved is a question.”
In the meantime the tariff wars are extracting a massive penalty from the Chinese economy. Its General Administration of Customs reported on Monday that Chinese shipments of goods to the United States declined by 22 percent in September, following a 16 percent decline in August. Imports from the United States into China also fell, sliding 8.5 percent in September and extending the August drop of 5.6 percent. This is shrinking the Chinese economy’s vaunted growth to its lowest level in at least 26 years.
But the Chinese totalitarians don’t care. They care about retaining power sufficient to stay in control, and part of that power is the successful stealing of technology from its primary competitor. Such continued theft will allow them to accomplish their plan for global hegemony.
In the meantime stalling, dithering and delaying as a strategy in dealing with Mr. Trump by the Chinese rulers puts additional pressure on the president to take half a loaf rather than none at all in order to secure his reelection. After all, the communists running China have been waiting 30 years for such an opportunity as this. What are a few more months to them?
If Trump wins reelection in November, the Chinese will continue to dither and delay serious conversations. If he loses, the new president is more than likely to be sympathetic to the tyrannical aspirations of like-minded socialists ruling China.