Trump increasingly assertive in challenging China's geopolitical red lines

Jun 2013
Donald Trump is increasingly assertive in challenging China on geopolitical red lines. It seems to him that China is mentally stuck in the quagmire of the 19th century that the US will never meet with retaliation despite his hostile moves:

(a) Keeps pressing allies to stop using telecommunications equipment made by Chinese firms such as Huawei Technologies Co. over spying risks.

(b) Steps up meddling in China’s internal affairs.

(c) US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo hosted Chinese separatists at the State Department.

(d) Plays the Taiwan card in a rather radical way.

(e) Signed legislation calling for more diplomatic and military exchanges with Taiwan.

(f) Allowed Tsai Ing-wen to make a provocative transit stop in Hawaii while en route to visit some of her dwindling diplomatic partners in the Pacific.

(g) Gave tacit approval to Taiwan’s request for its first purchase of new fighter jets in almost 30 years.

(h) Evoked the “gunboat diplomacy” of the 19th century by increasing the frequency of sending warships through the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

Two US warships sail through Taiwan Strait on April 28 even though the Sino-US trade talks are scheduled to be held two days later. The US move evoked the “gunboat diplomacy” of the 19th century. US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and his team member might as well sail to China in a warship for the trade talks on April 30.

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, said in a statement. He also said there were no unsafe or unprofessional interactions with other countries’ vessels during the transit.

(i) Making outrageous demands in trade talks.

Donald Trump demands China to drop all tariffs on US goods, particularly agricultural products, immediately after signing a deal while leaving more than $250 billion of tariffs with China in place for a “substantial period” until it complies with the deal.

“We’re not talking about removing them, we’re talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time,” Trump said. “Because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal because they’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals.”

Conclusion: It is noteworthy that all three visits by US trade delegations to Beijing have been presaged by US naval patrols through territory claimed by China. The intentions of the US operations were unclear. Were they intended as a signal during the trade talks? Were they intended to be a test for China's bottom line while seeking commercial concessions? Were they meant to be insults or humiliation?

If the Chinese leader agrees to sign the trade deal in the US, he should sail there in a warship. :)
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Forum Staff
Oct 2010
Where are all those R voices who were warning that the Ds have become the war party?