The Curious Case of China’s Huawei with the US
This week, the US will hold trade talks with China, which the White House is insisting is totally unrelated to the 23 charges the Justice Department has just filed against major Chinese telecom Huawei.
The White House claims charges center on violating US sanctions against Iran, and ‘stealing trade secrets.’ It’s more than that. These charges are part of a growing Trump Administration effort to contain China, mostly focusing on hiding the fact that America is now officially bankrupt and isolated, as well as containing a rising China and keeping it from bidding on major technological and infrastructure contracts around the world. It is also the pretext for having Canada capture the company’s CFO and try to extradite her to America.
The detention of Meng has fueled tensions between China and Canada, and forced Canada’s Ambassador to China to be sacked over the weekend. The ambassador was fired for saying that Meng could make a case against being extradited to the US, which is inconsistent with the ani-China position of the government of Canada.
Think about it. This is no longer about Iran or China violating unilateral sanctions imposed by the US in great violation of the 2015 nuclear deal and the UN resolution endorsing that. America’s trade war began last year with what was essentially a punitive raid not just against China but the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and a host of other nations that had said no to Trump’s one-man foreign policy.
Let’s start with always over there. The US government has already lost the trade war with the wold community - with remarkable consistency. America’s officials and grunts at the bottom, warmongers and regime change addicts are hardly to blame. The fish, as they say, rots from the head, which in this case means Trump and his immediate advisors, including Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.
They all know that the White House cannot turn this defeat into victory. The only way to win the trade wars is by ending them, but isolationist Trump seems unable to recognize this. So the illegal Iran sanctions notwithstanding, the future, the surest way to turn defeat into victory would be to avoid such needless wars. On the other hand, a surefire way to defeat is to persist in them out of fear, greed, opportunism, careerism, or similar political motives. These are lessons Trump’s gung-ho experts and advisors have little incentive to absorb, let alone act upon - and because they won’t, the world community must.
At any rate, just like its illegal wars and regime change fantasies, Washington’s sanctions regime, detention of Chinese CEOs and extreme trade protectionist measures inhibit fair competition and multilateralism. Washington abuses national security laws to obstruct the normal investment activities of foreign companies - including China’s - on American shores. In contrast, Beijing continues to be the global standard-bearer for fair trade through its “Made in China 2025” policy and the $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative. Indeed, China does not want to enter into a trade battle, “but it will fight one if necessary" and it can’t lose:
Trump once tweeted that the US is not in a trade war with China - and "that war was lost many years ago" by previous US leadership. He said, "We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the US.”
The irony is that China as an economic superpower, is being punished for hard work and innovation. But it will not roll out a white flag. There are reams of data to support this position. In 2017, China’s total spending on research and development hit $257 billion, ranking second globally. China continues to reform its economic system through innovation and domestic demand - not through alleged intellectual property theft.
China’s rise as a global technology powerhouse is acknowledged in the West, where not even one nation backs Trump’s trade battle, desperate moves and shenanigans. Last but not the least, China’s trade flows are more balanced than Trump would like to acknowledge in his tweets. They are in line with the rules of the World Trade Organization. China's trade and investment practices are anchored in international law and economic reason. Beijing even stands ready for a win-win compromise. The same cannot be said of Washington.
In summation, the trade wars have affected every economic sector in the US and beyond. According to US scholars and businesses, China is a net-seller of US debt. The US’s biggest creditor is doing just enough to let the Treasury and Trump know that they can send yields soaring and can’t afford it if China unloads the whole $1+ trillion amount. It’s no doubt a financial weapon of mass-destruction that China could easily use.
Washington’s traditional allies in Europe and Asia also have no interest in US sanctions or trade deals with just the US. They continue to resist US efforts to create bilateral free trade deals or violate UN resolutions. Even the Group of 20 countries have pushed back against the Trump administration. They are pressing the US to end its trade wars and sanctions regime in the best interests of all countries.
On balance, the Trump administration needs to kick its sanctions addiction and change its “might-makes-right” mindset, because it only fuels isolationism, protectionism and anti-globalization tendencies. The world is stirring up together, adjusting to Washington’s protectionism by developing regional trade agreements and diversifying trade partners. In between, the US is losing, and it is losing big.
Source: Fars News