Trying to “manage” the unstoppable ascent of China and celebrating what has been termed as “an end of history,” America has for long been on a mission to defend the centuries-old Western governance system that is based on the rule of law, upholding human rights, and democracy. In this process, there has been inadequate attention to United States’ foreign trade accounts as well as on economic policy errors, making America’s mission increasingly difficult. As a result, there have been losses in propriety technology and wealth, and a huge accumulation of both domestic and foreign debts, which have led to ebbs of thoughtful introspections about United States’ role in the world.
Reports of the trade negotiations held last week with China reveal how far the U.S has gone, neglecting its crucial interests. Some few years ago, it’d have been very hard to imagine that Washington would send envoys to Beijing to tell the Chinese government that its $375 billion excessive surpluses on the U.S trades won’t be tolerated any longer. Hard indeed, especially because Washington didn’t have to do that.
A deal Xi couldn’t refuse
One of the most important orders of business should have been telling President Xi Jinping that the U.S would like him to bring down the exorbitant surplus quickly and then follow up with balanced bilateral business accounts. This would not only have been complaint with the G-20 recommendations for stable and balanced world economy, but it would have conformed to the Chinese government’s proclaimed commitments to “win-win cooperation.”
Such talks would also be an easy test to what President Donald Trump terms as his “great relationship” with President Xi. The Chinese president is the only individual in China that can solve the trade issues as simply and quickly as he fixed the world’s peace and war situation on the Korean Peninsula. President Xi’s trade negotiators act on his orders, and therefore, nothing will happen until he agrees to it.
Had President Trump done a deal which XI couldn’t refuse, the trade negotiation teams would just have had to decide ways to increase U.S sales to China as well as reduce China’s exports to America. They would only be working with some specific time limits and numbers to implement their agreement.
Unfortunately, Trump missed the opportunity to do that, and he has embarked America on a nerve-ending negotiations rigmarole which is going to lead to a potentially very serious and dangerous confrontation with Beijing. Trump should now expect increasing problems in his relationships with Xi, who is successfully edging out the American influence on Asia and beyond.
While the American envoys were preparing to leave China, President Xi was already working on his phones with Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister and Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea. Media reports have revealed that Xi assured the South Korean leader of China’s support as regards peace and cooperation. Of course, Moon didn’t need a lot of convincing from Xi, who is currently taking over a quarter of South Korea’s exports and who also hosts local productions and large investments of Korean chaebols.