Turkey Now, America Later?

Turkey Now, America Later?

President Trump recently imposed sanctions on Turkey to protest the Turkish government’s detention of an American pastor. Turkey has responded by increasing tariffs on US exports. The trade war is being blamed for the collapse of Turkey’s currency, the lira. While the sanctions may have played a role, Turkey’s currency crisis is rooted in the Turkish government’s fiscal and (especially) monetary policies.

In the past seven years, Turkey’s central bank has tripled the money supply and pushed interest rates down to 4.5 percent. While Turkey’s government did not adopt Ben Bernanke’s proposal to drop money from helicopters, Turkish politicians have taken advantage of easy money policies to increase subsidies for key voting blocs and special interests.

The results of the Turkish government’s inflation-fueled spending binge are not surprising to anyone familiar with Austrian economics or economic history. Turkey is now plagued with huge deficits, a collapsing currency, and a looming economic crisis, making it the next candidate for a European Union or Federal Reserve bailout.

Turkey’s combination of low interest rates, money creation, and massive government spending to “stimulate” the economy parallels the policies the US government has pursued for the past ten years. Without drastic changes in fiscal and monetary policies, economic trouble in America is around the corner.

The very large and growing federal debt will cause a major crisis as the government’s debt burden will be unsustainable. Instead of cutting spending or raising taxes, politicians can be expected to pressure the Federal Reserve to do their dirty work for them via inflation. We may even see the Fed “experiment” with negative interest rates, which would punish Americans for saving. The monetization of the federal debt will erode the dollar’s purchasing power and decimate middle-and-working-class Americans who are already seeing any gains in their incomes eaten away by inflation.

If we are lucky, the next Fed-caused downturn will cause only a resurgence of 1970s-style stagflation. The more likely scenario is the type of widespread economic chaos not seen in America since the Great Depression. The growth of cultural Marxism, the widespread entitlement mentality, and the willingness of partisans of various sides to use force against their political opponents suggests that this economic crisis will result in civil unrest that will be used to justify new crackdowns on individual liberty.

Those who understand the causes of, and cures for, our current predicament have two responsibilities. First, prepare a plan to protect your family when the crisis occurs. Second, do all you can to spread the truth in hopes the liberty movement reaches critical mass so it can force Congress to make the changes necessary to avert disaster.

Since the crisis will result in a rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status, individuals should consider alternatives such as gold and other precious metals. Restoring a free-market monetary system should be a priority for the liberty movement. Other priorities include ending our interventionist foreign policy, cutting spending in all areas, rolling back the surveillance state, protecting all civil liberties, and auditing (and ending) the Federal Reserve. If we do our jobs, we can build a society of peace, prosperity, and liberty atop the ashes of the welfare-warfare state.

Reprinted from ronpaulinstitute.org.

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Trump’s trade war with China on hold after China agrees to North Korea sanctions

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

 

The United States’ much-hyped trade war with China appears to be on hold at the moment. On Monday, the Trump administration made a conciliatory gesture to the Asian superpower following its agreement to restrict North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. From Bloomberg:

“President Donald Trump plans to wait at least a week and possibly longer on moving forward with a trade investigation of China on intellectual property violations after the country backed UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea, an administration official said.”

The unnamed administration insider told Bloomberg that while Trump and his team “remain concerned over what the U.S. perceives as Chinese violations of intellectual property” and that a trade investigation is still an option, the White House wanted to “encourage and reward China’s cooperation on North Korea and is balancing national security concerns against domestic economic considerations.”

While the idea of a trade war with China is nothing new under Donald Trump — the president has long held that China has an unfair advantage in its trading policies with the U.S. — analysts have been particularly concerned lately due to Trump’s continuing frustration with China over the issue of North Korea’s missile program.

Speculation was high last week that the Trump administration was preparing to take unilateral action against China via the little-used Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. That section allows the president to impose tariffs or trade restrictions in the name of protecting U.S. commerce.

A White House announcement on the Section 301 investigation had even been scheduled for last Friday. But by Thursday, as POLITICO reported last week, the announcement was postponed “at the urging of United Nations and State Department officials, who are in the sensitive final stages of convincing China to sign on to a U.N. resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea.”

“There are broader talks about diplomatic considerations,” a Trump administration official told POLITICO.

Whether or not Trump’s backing off on the trade angle was what ultimately got China to go along with sanctions, the fact remains that China did go along — knowing full well it would be the one hardest hit in economic terms.

“Owing to China’s traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday while speaking at a forum in Manila, according to statement released by the foreign ministry Tuesday.

“But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will, as before, fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution,” the statement cited Yi as saying.

The sanctions are aimed at slashing a full third of the Hermit Kingdom’s annual $3 billion in exports.

Patrick Cronin, an Asia specialist with the think tank Center for a New American Society, told CNN that “for China to join, on top of the international community, sends a signal to North Korea that this is serious economic damage if they don’t find a way to reduce those sanctions and the pressure from that.”

United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley agrees that if nothing else, China’s decision to go along with sanctions marks a move toward international cohesion on the North Korea issue.

“What this is going to do is send a very strong message and a united message,” she told NBC in an interview Tuesday.

Donald Trump himself struck a similar chord, tweeting:

“After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!”

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Trump's trade war with China on hold after China agrees to North Korea sanctions

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 
 
The United States’ much-hyped trade war with China appears to be on hold at the moment. On Monday, the Trump administration made a conciliatory gesture to the Asian superpower following its agreement to restrict North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. From Bloomberg:
“President Donald Trump plans to wait at least a week and possibly longer on moving forward with a trade investigation of China on intellectual property violations after the country backed UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea, an administration official said.”
The unnamed administration insider told Bloomberg that while Trump and his team “remain concerned over what the U.S. perceives as Chinese violations of intellectual property” and that a trade investigation is still an option, the White House wanted to “encourage and reward China’s cooperation on North Korea and is balancing national security concerns against domestic economic considerations.”
While the idea of a trade war with China is nothing new under Donald Trump — the president has long held that China has an unfair advantage in its trading policies with the U.S. — analysts have been particularly concerned lately due to Trump’s continuing frustration with China over the issue of North Korea’s missile program.
Speculation was high last week that the Trump administration was preparing to take unilateral action against China via the little-used Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. That section allows the president to impose tariffs or trade restrictions in the name of protecting U.S. commerce.
A White House announcement on the Section 301 investigation had even been scheduled for last Friday. But by Thursday, as POLITICO reported last week, the announcement was postponed “at the urging of United Nations and State Department officials, who are in the sensitive final stages of convincing China to sign on to a U.N. resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea.”
“There are broader talks about diplomatic considerations,” a Trump administration official told POLITICO.
Whether or not Trump’s backing off on the trade angle was what ultimately got China to go along with sanctions, the fact remains that China did go along — knowing full well it would be the one hardest hit in economic terms.
“Owing to China’s traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday while speaking at a forum in Manila, according to statement released by the foreign ministry Tuesday.
“But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will, as before, fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution,” the statement cited Yi as saying.
The sanctions are aimed at slashing a full third of the Hermit Kingdom’s annual $3 billion in exports.
Patrick Cronin, an Asia specialist with the think tank Center for a New American Society, told CNN that “for China to join, on top of the international community, sends a signal to North Korea that this is serious economic damage if they don’t find a way to reduce those sanctions and the pressure from that.”
United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley agrees that if nothing else, China’s decision to go along with sanctions marks a move toward international cohesion on the North Korea issue.
“What this is going to do is send a very strong message and a united message,” she told NBC in an interview Tuesday.
Donald Trump himself struck a similar chord, tweeting:
“After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!”

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Senior Military Official: North Korean Missiles Aren’t a Threat to U.S. Cities

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

 

Geopolitical moves are being made on the issue of North Korea. A day after South Korea’s new government offered to hold military talks with its neighbor to the North, the United States’ second-highest ranking military official admitted Tuesday that North Korean missiles lack the accuracy to effectively target U.S. cities.

On Monday, South Korea’s defense ministry proposed that representatives from both the South and North Korean militaries meet at the border village of Panmunjom in North Korea for talks.

“We make the proposal for a meeting…aimed at stopping all hostile activities that escalate military tension along the land border,” South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement.

The man in charge of North Korean affairs, unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon, said his country “would not seek collapse of the North or unification through absorbing the North” and suggested a positive response from Kim Jong-un’s government would represent a show of good faith.

“North Korea should respond to our sincere proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Cho said, adding that ifNorth Korea chooses the right path, we would like to open the door for a brighter future for North Korea, together, by cooperating with the international community.

The defense ministry’s overture falls in line with the approach advocated by new South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who supports diplomatic talks with the North led by South Korea.

Recently, ahead of the G20 summit in Germany, Moon stated that the need for dialogue” with North Korea is “more pressing than ever before because the situation had “reached the tipping point of the vicious cycle of military escalation.”

North Korea has yet to respond to the South’s proposal.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the primary driver of the “evil North Korea” narrative, United States appeared to go against the grain and actually downplayed the effectiveness of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons program — or, at least, one senior defense official did. From Reuters:

“North Korea does not have the ability to strike the United States with ‘any degree of accuracy’ and while its missiles have the range, they lack the necessary guidance capability, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Paul Selva said North Korea’s July 4 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test showed that the country has no hope of hitting a U.S. target with any “reasonable confidence of success” and that recent talk about its ability to strike Alaska or the Pacific Northwest is overblown:

“What the experts tell me is that the North Koreans have yet to demonstrate the capacity to do the guidance and control that would be required.”

While the general’s admission isn’t on the same level as the actual act of diplomacy just demonstrated by South Korea, the fact that the U.S. military is walking back — even if only just a step or two — a narrative it fought so hard to establish is itself worthy of commentary.

So what gives? Why, in the last two days, have both the U.S. and ally South Korea suddenly taken a softer line — again, in their own ways — on the North Korea issue? Are all parties concerned about to knock off the rhetoric and allow the Hermit Kingdom to continue to fire missiles into the sea?

Not likely. As with most other issues of geopolitical significance in that region of the world, these moves likely have far more to do with China.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Washington, D.C., for annual bilateral talks, this year dubbed the “U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.” It will be the third meeting between the two men, after Xi’s visit to Mar-a-Lago three months ago and their discussions on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.

Recently, Trump reignited concern over a trade war between the U.S. and China when he said he was considering slapping import tariffs on steel. But these kinds of tactics are nothing new ahead of economic negotiations, as the Washington Post noted last Friday:

“In 1981, the Reagan administration convinced Japan to reduce the number of cars it was exporting to the United States in a bid to boost the U.S. auto sector. In 1984, the administration used the tactic again with the steel industry, as it told dozens of countries to either limit their steel shipments to the United States or lose access to the American market.

In an article published Sunday titled “U.S.-China trade talks sputtering at 100-day deadline,” Reuters outlined how results from economic negotiations between the two countries have been less than encouraging since Trump and Xi first met at Mar-a-Lago. The general consensus is that Donald Trump needs a major win with China to prove he’s sticking to the “America first” guns that got him into the White House.

Noting that “North Korea has cast a long shadow over the relationship between Trump and Xi, Reuters points out that the Hermit Kingdom and its nuclear weapons program has been a hindrance to cooperation for the U.S. president:

“Trump has linked progress in trade to China’s ability to rein in North Korea, which counts on Beijing as its chief friend and ally.”

On Tuesday, the Associated Press also highlighted how Trump has used the issue of North Korea as a bargaining chip at the negotiating table with China:

“As a presidential candidate, Trump attacked China for refusing to pressure Pyongyang to back off from developing nuclear weapons. After the Mar-a-Lago summit, though, Trump praised Beijing for agreeing to help deal with North Korea. As a reward, he abandoned his vow to accuse China of manipulating its currency to benefit Chinese exporters.

So it may be that this one-two punch from the United States and ally South Korea was a coordinated effort to ease tensions and create an atmosphere conducive to cooperation ahead of critical negotiations between the U.S. and China.

It may be that the Trump administration is signaling that it would be willing to back off on pressuring China to rein in Kim Jong-un if China is willing to make concessions on the economic front — and give Trump the win he needs.

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Senior Military Official: North Korean Missiles Aren't a Threat to U.S. Cities

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.
 
Geopolitical moves are being made on the issue of North Korea. A day after South Korea’s new government offered to hold military talks with its neighbor to the North, the United States’ second-highest ranking military official admitted Tuesday that North Korean missiles lack the accuracy to effectively target U.S. cities.
On Monday, South Korea’s defense ministry proposed that representatives from both the South and North Korean militaries meet at the border village of Panmunjom in North Korea for talks.
“We make the proposal for a meeting…aimed at stopping all hostile activities that escalate military tension along the land border,” South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement.
The man in charge of North Korean affairs, unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon, said his country “would not seek collapse of the North or unification through absorbing the North” and suggested a positive response from Kim Jong-un’s government would represent a show of good faith.
“North Korea should respond to our sincere proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Cho said, adding that ifNorth Korea chooses the right path, we would like to open the door for a brighter future for North Korea, together, by cooperating with the international community.
The defense ministry’s overture falls in line with the approach advocated by new South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who supports diplomatic talks with the North led by South Korea.
Recently, ahead of the G20 summit in Germany, Moon stated that the need for dialogue” with North Korea is “more pressing than ever before because the situation had “reached the tipping point of the vicious cycle of military escalation.”
North Korea has yet to respond to the South’s proposal.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the primary driver of the “evil North Korea” narrative, United States appeared to go against the grain and actually downplayed the effectiveness of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons program — or, at least, one senior defense official did. From Reuters:
“North Korea does not have the ability to strike the United States with ‘any degree of accuracy’ and while its missiles have the range, they lack the necessary guidance capability, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Paul Selva said North Korea’s July 4 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test showed that the country has no hope of hitting a U.S. target with any “reasonable confidence of success” and that recent talk about its ability to strike Alaska or the Pacific Northwest is overblown:
“What the experts tell me is that the North Koreans have yet to demonstrate the capacity to do the guidance and control that would be required.”
While the general’s admission isn’t on the same level as the actual act of diplomacy just demonstrated by South Korea, the fact that the U.S. military is walking back — even if only just a step or two — a narrative it fought so hard to establish is itself worthy of commentary.
So what gives? Why, in the last two days, have both the U.S. and ally South Korea suddenly taken a softer line — again, in their own ways — on the North Korea issue? Are all parties concerned about to knock off the rhetoric and allow the Hermit Kingdom to continue to fire missiles into the sea?
Not likely. As with most other issues of geopolitical significance in that region of the world, these moves likely have far more to do with China.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Washington, D.C., for annual bilateral talks, this year dubbed the “U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.” It will be the third meeting between the two men, after Xi’s visit to Mar-a-Lago three months ago and their discussions on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.
Recently, Trump reignited concern over a trade war between the U.S. and China when he said he was considering slapping import tariffs on steel. But these kinds of tactics are nothing new ahead of economic negotiations, as the Washington Post noted last Friday:
“In 1981, the Reagan administration convinced Japan to reduce the number of cars it was exporting to the United States in a bid to boost the U.S. auto sector. In 1984, the administration used the tactic again with the steel industry, as it told dozens of countries to either limit their steel shipments to the United States or lose access to the American market.
In an article published Sunday titled “U.S.-China trade talks sputtering at 100-day deadline,” Reuters outlined how results from economic negotiations between the two countries have been less than encouraging since Trump and Xi first met at Mar-a-Lago. The general consensus is that Donald Trump needs a major win with China to prove he’s sticking to the “America first” guns that got him into the White House.
Noting that “North Korea has cast a long shadow over the relationship between Trump and Xi, Reuters points out that the Hermit Kingdom and its nuclear weapons program has been a hindrance to cooperation for the U.S. president:
“Trump has linked progress in trade to China’s ability to rein in North Korea, which counts on Beijing as its chief friend and ally.”
On Tuesday, the Associated Press also highlighted how Trump has used the issue of North Korea as a bargaining chip at the negotiating table with China:
“As a presidential candidate, Trump attacked China for refusing to pressure Pyongyang to back off from developing nuclear weapons. After the Mar-a-Lago summit, though, Trump praised Beijing for agreeing to help deal with North Korea. As a reward, he abandoned his vow to accuse China of manipulating its currency to benefit Chinese exporters.
So it may be that this one-two punch from the United States and ally South Korea was a coordinated effort to ease tensions and create an atmosphere conducive to cooperation ahead of critical negotiations between the U.S. and China.
It may be that the Trump administration is signaling that it would be willing to back off on pressuring China to rein in Kim Jong-un if China is willing to make concessions on the economic front — and give Trump the win he needs.

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Trump Caves on ‘One China’ Policy, Now a ‘Paper Tiger’ to the World

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

 

Washington D.C. — After months of tough talk on the campaign trail on how to handle China — and after weeks of even tougher talk from some in his administration since being elected — President Donald Trump, according to official statements, has agreed to change course and abide by the “One China” policy.

“President Donald J. Trump and President Xi of China had a lengthy telephone conversation on Thursday evening. The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honour [their] ‘one China’ policy,” a White House statement said.

Describing the phone call as a “very cordial,” one in which the two leaders “extended best wishes to the people of each other’s country,” the statement says that going forward, “the United States and China will engage in discussions and negotiations on various issues of mutual interest.”

In a statement published by China’s Foreign Ministry, President Xi appeared appreciative of Trump’s acceptance of the “One China” doctrine:

“I believe that the United States and China are cooperative partners, and through joint efforts we can push bilateral relations to historic new high.”

Suggesting there’s no reason both nations can’t grow at the same time, Xi added, “The development of China and the United States absolutely can complement each other and advance together. Both sides absolutely can become very good cooperative partners.”

Trump campaigned on nationalistic rhetoric rooted in an “America First” ideology that advocated economic protectionism. This stood in stark contrast to the “One China” policy the Asian superpower requires other countries to recognize if they wish to engage it in trade and commerce.

Since entering the White House, comments made by Trump and certain members of his administration — such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who suggested the U.S. should block China’s access to artificial islands in the South China Sea — have had world leaders and analysts worrying about a possible trade war, a global currency crisis, and the potential for a military conflict between the two superpowers.

Now, with Trump seemingly succumbing to the will of the Chinese leader, many analysts are saying the new U.S. president has lost serious face.

James Zimmerman, former head of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, told the Washington Post that Trump never should’ve raised the “One China” issue in the first place.

“There is certainly a way of negotiating with the Chinese, but threats concerning fundamental, core interests are counterproductive from the get-go,” he said. “The end result is that Trump just confirmed to the world that he is a paper tiger, a zhilaohu — someone that seems threatening but is wholly ineffectual and unable to stomach a challenge.”

The New York Times, noting in its article title that Trump just gave China an upper-hand, opened the piece by suggesting the new U.S. president has “handed China a victory and sullied his reputation with its leader.”

Speaking with the Times, Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing and advisor to China’s State Council, would seem to agree with this assessment.

“This will be interpreted in China as a great success,” he said, “achieved by Xi’s approach of dealing with him.”

Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, concurs.

“The Chinese will see him as weak,” he told the Times. “He has reinforced the impression in Beijing that Trump is not serious about managing the U.S.-China relationship.”

Whatever the reputational fallout for President Trump, there’s no question the Chinese are feeling much more comfortable about future dealings between the two nations.

Stating that previous comments from the Trump administration had U.S.-China relations “tumbling and collapsing,” Ni Feng, deputy director for the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Studies, suggested to the Times that there could much clearer skies ahead:

“Now we can say that Sino-U.S. relations can proceed.”

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Allies Worry as Trump Accuses Germany, Japan of Purposely Devaluing Currencies

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

Following recent comments from President Donald Trump suggesting the U.S. is being forced to “sit there like a bunch of dummies” as it’s taken advantage of by the economic policies of China, Japan, and Germany, leaders from those countries responded this week with comments of their own.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump, along with one of his top economic advisors, unleashed what Reuters described as a “barrage of criticism” over what the two men perceive as the three key U.S. trading partners’ deliberate devaluing of their currencies — to the detriment of the American consumer.

“Every other country lives on devaluation,” the president said in a White House meeting with executives from the pharmaceutical industry. “You look at what China’s doing, you look at what Japan has done over the years. They — they play the money market, they play the devaluation market and we sit there like a bunch of dummies.”

As he did with the auto industry, Trump is pressuring pharmaceutical companies to relocate production facilities to the United States. Complaining of red tape, Trump said: “other countries take advantage of us with their money and their money supply and devaluation.”

Prior to the president’s meeting at the White House, the head of his newly created National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, had told the Financial Times the European Union’s euro was the equivalent of an “implicit Deutsche Mark” that gave Germany an edge over the United States on trade.

Defending her country’s practices while in Stockholm, Sweden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated Tuesday:

“We don’t exercise any influence over the European Central Bank, so I can’t and I don’t want to change the situation as it is now. We strive to trade on the global market with competitive products in fair trade with all others.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe didn’t take the jab lying down, either. He, along with the governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and Japan’s chief cabinet security, all denied Trump’s allegations.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abe stated before parliament that “Criticism that the BOJ’s policy is trying to devalue the yen is wrong.”

Hours before, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Japan’s monetary policy is designed “solely for the purpose of achieving our price target at the earliest date possible,” and that Japan does not “directly target currency rates in guiding monetary policy.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated simply that Trump’s allegations were “completely baseless.”

Such back and forth verbal sparring between the still-forming Trump administration and an increasing number of countries — including U.S. allies — on the issue of international trade has many concerned over the future of global markets.

While the fact that the brash Trump would initiate such bouts with his unpredictable comments should, at this point, surprise no one, the fact that the president is making these specific comments has some analysts thinking there may be real cause for concern.

“Those comments, talking about somebody else’s currency, talking about valuation, almost seem like they’re criticizing the construction of the eurozone which is a whole other issue,” Greg Anderson of BMO Capital Markets in New York, told Reuters. “I’m sure a lot of people have those thoughts. In the gentleman’s agreement, as an official you don’t mention those thoughts.”

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Forget Russia, Trump Could Be Setting Up a New Cold War with China

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

 

In a lengthy editorial published Tuesday, TIME magazine chronicled recent actions taken by both China and the United States in the buildup to what many are speculating could be a coming cold war. The article suggested that some, if not most of the tension is rooted in the Trump administration’s outdated view of China as a Soviet-era communist state.

“For many in the Trump camp, I don’t think they believe the Cold War with China ever ended,” Scott W. Harold, a China specialist for think tank Rand Corp., told TIME. “They think that America just hasn’t been fighting.”

Highlighting a bit of Cold War-era history, TIME notes that the United States once sought closer relations with China as a means to combat the Soviet threat:

“In an attempt to sideline Moscow, Washington was willing to engage with China in the hope that it would reform, open up and democratize. But the latter never happened, and on democracy and human rights these two blocs remain at ideological loggerheads.”

This ideological disagreement — or, as Scott W. Harold surmises, this perceived disagreement — may be a very large part of the prejudice that highly nationalistic President Donald Trump seems to have toward China.

And Russia, once again, is proving to be an issue in U.S.-China relations.

Trump has proven himself eager, if not willing, to cooperate with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Days ago, in fact, the U.S. president stated he would be open to the idea of conducting joint airstrikes with Russia against ISIS.

As such, and as another analyst warns, this prejudice against China is something Trump will have to get over if he has any true wishes to work with the Asian superpower. The reason for this, of course, is that China has grown to become the primary ally of the United States’ former Cold War adversary.

“We are going back to a world where you can’t consider the U.S.-China relationship without also considering Russia,” Professor Rana Mitter, China specialist at Oxford, told TIME.

Trump’s misperceptions about world affairs extend beyond political ideology, however, according to the co-founder of a highly successful tech company in Xiamen, China. Xu Ayi of Newyea — a company setting the standard in the contactless charging devices market — says the new American president has failed to see how the world has fundamentally changed. And the world, says Xu, no longer views China as as a threat as Trump and his team do:

“‘Made in China’ has new meaning today, and the world is opening up, but Trump is trying to close the U.S. Trump’s a bad apple and even Americans need to worry about him.”

Whether or not there’s true cause to worry, the back and forth between the United States and China will no doubt proceed into the foreseeable future, as Trump’s “America First” rhetoric will continue to bump up against the Asian superpower’s intractable “One China” stance.

And this, according to Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, is reason enough to prepare for things to get ugly:

“We cannot exclude the possibility of a new cold war.”

The Antiwar Comic: Some Problems With Trump

Top Chinese Economic Adviser Preparing for Trade War with Trump

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

 

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran a biographical piece on Lui He, the top economic advisor to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Described as a “soft-spoken, American-educated technocrat” with influence “some believe rivals that of the prime minister,” the Times goes on to suggest Lui may be preparing for a trade war sparked by the incoming presidency of Donald Trump.

Lui, currently a deputy director at the National Development and Reform Commission — a powerful agency of which Lui is widely expected to become the next director — has, throughout his career, consistently pushed for open markets and the liberalization of the Chinese economy.

This position, however, has been met with staunch resistance just as consistently, as the Times explains:

“But even as he has gained influence, his ability to push through changes in these areas has been limited. Mr. Xi still calls the shots, and his pledge to revamp the economy jostles alongside his fiercely conservative agenda to restore party control and protect state companies.”

Donald Trump ran on an anti-China platform and has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods once in office. His nationalistic agenda of economic protectionism stands in stark contrast to Lui He’s goal of open markets — a common problem, according to Lui, and one he addressed three years ago.

“Populist policies adopted by the governments of developed countries are often the instigators of crisis,” he wrote in a study that was published as a book.

This is, in fact, what’s happening in Europe right now. There, nowhere near recovered from the Brexit fallout, many European governments are having to combat potent, anti-globalization populist sentiments.

This is precisely the type of sentiment that allowed Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Now, with “Mr. Trump and his selection of a trade team that seems ready to restrict Chinese exports to the United States,” the Times writes, Lui’s task ahead — should he remain President Xi’s top economic advisor — will, undoubtedly, only get tougher.  

The publication also noted that, for its part, China may already be preparing for a trade war:

“Chinese trade experts with government ties have already hinted that if the Trump administration imposes barriers on Chinese goods, they are ready to retaliate through steps like switching aircraft contracts from Boeing to Airbus, diverting food import contracts to rival countries like Brazil and possibly making it more difficult for Apple to sell iPhones in China.”

But the Times also notes that Lui is a shrewd and savvy player who’s managed to amass a great deal of power despite the fact some of his policies run counter to the party. This assessment would seem to be backed up by at least one seasoned China analyst.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Lui He is extraordinarily powerful,” says Christopher K. Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “He has shifted from a stance earlier on when he was very careful not to demonstrate the level of influence he had.”

Minimalistic Mockup Of A Paperback Book With A Customizable Background 3438 El1

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

by Scott Horton

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The Great Ron Paul

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