China

A Better Way to Fight China?

Featured image Scott noted this morning the 30th anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square. This set me to thinking about Trump’s trade strategy with China (and now Mexico) and an old memory. Almost 12 or 15 years ago now I was teaching a class at Georgetown as a visiting lecturer, and one of my students was a young Chinese lady who seemed very bright, though quiet »

Tiananmen 30 years later

Featured image Thirty years ago today Deng Xiaoping ordered the use of force to commence against the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square seeking liberalization of the Communist regime. So we learn from Andrew Nathan’s behind-the-scenes account published by Foreign Affairs as “The new Tiananmen Papers.” Based on previously unpublished documents, Nathan’s article has been made “temporarily paywall-free so you can share it with your family, friends, and colleagues,” according to the magazine’s email »

Trade War Is Hurting Trump

Featured image I think President Trump is doing the right thing in pushing back against theft of intellectual property and other Chinese misdeeds, but there is evidence that he is paying a political price. President Trump’s approval ratings normally move within a very narrow range, consistent with the electorate’s polarization. But he has been doing well lately, with his approval rating sometimes over 50% in the Rasmussen survey. But now he has »

Straight talk about China and corporate America

Featured image Sen. Marco Rubio is the U.S. Senator best attuned to and most focused on the problem China poses to the U.S. and the world at-large. At least that’s what I infer from his public pronouncements on the subject. In an interview with the Washington Post, Rubio maintained that a significant part of our problem with China stems from shortsighted American corporate CEO’s. He stated: If you go to China, they »

Standing Up to China

Featured image For the first time in quite a few years, the U.S. government is standing up to China’s authoritarian regime. China has been a bad actor for a long time–stealing intellectual property, engaging in unfair trade practices, bullying its East Asian neighbors. The markets are skittish about the current trade impasse, but I think most Americans understand that trade is the lever we can use to deter Chinese misdeeds. Meanwhile, some »

Biden’s China syndrome

Featured image A friend sends along today’s big Wall Street Journal story “Frustration, Miscalculation: Inside the U.S.-China Trade Impasse” with this comment: I wonder how much Biden’s comments that China was not a threat, and some polls showing he could win, played a role in persuading China to back off. Biden’s comments were very destructive, regardless. He (through his son) is bought and paid for by China. If he is the nominee, »

Trump set to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods

Featured image Last week, President Trump and the Red Chinese appeared to be making major progress towards a trade deal. However, Trump’s team says that the Chinese have reneged on commitments made during the negotiations. Consequently, the administration is prepared to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. It plans to announce the increases on Friday morning. The New York Times’ story on this development is full of speculation about »

An inflection point in U.S.-China relations

Featured image Michael Auslin, an Asia expert at the Hoover Institution, examines what I consider the most important foreign policy issue of our time — U.S. relations with China. Auslin believes this may be “crunch time” for these relations. Auslin is happy with President Trump’s China policy so far: The Trump administration’s full-court press against China is going strong, buttressed by a dramatic shift in opinion among the foreign-policy community, now increasingly »

Good news: China is nervous

Featured image The New York Times reports that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, abruptly summoned hundreds of officials to Beijing recently. He did so, says the Times, in order to convey a sense of “anxious urgency.” The Communist Party, Xi told the officials, faces major risks on all fronts and must batten down the hatches. “Globally, sources of turmoil and points of risk are multiplying,” [Xi] told the gathering in January at the »

Trump’s pivot to Asia

Featured image Michael Auslin of the Hoover Institution commends President Trump for his pivot to Asia. He says it’s “shaping up to be more substantive and potentially transformative than the one the Obama Administration regularly touted.” That’s a low bar. However, there is, indeed, much to like about Trump’s pivot. As Auslin says: Trump. . .has begun by blowing up past practice, specifically in no longer pretending China is a fair trading »

China’s slumping economy adds new dimension to trade war

Featured image There’s good news and bad news from China. It’s the same news: China’s economy is slowing. China’s retail sales are growing at the slowest rate in 15 years. Industrial production reportedly is slumping too. Forecasts are for reduced economic growth. This year, reported growth will be around 6.6 percent. The forecast for next year is 6 percent, and many are now wondering whether it will reach that mark. The case »

Has Trump driven Japan closer to China?

Featured image Late last month, Japanese Prime Minister Abe visited Beijing. His visit nailed down multibillion-dollar trade deals and promises further to strengthen relations between the two Asian giants. “From competition to coexistence, Japanese and Chinese bilateral relations have entered a new phase,” Abe declared. “With President Xi Jinping, I would like to carve out a new era for China and Japan.” This was a marked contrast to Abe’s 2014 trip to »

Reminder: Wind Power Blows—and Also Sucks

Featured image It gets tiresome to note the limitations and lamosity of niche wind power, but who’d have thought that wind power might also make global warming worse. But that’s just what a new Harvard study reported recently the MIT Technology Review concludes. Wide-scale US wind power could cause significant warming Wind power is booming in the United States. It’s expanded 35-fold since 2000 and now provides 8% of the nation’s electricity. The US »

Only Trump Can Go to China (and Smack Them in the Head)?

Featured image I don’t know why the stock market is suddenly having a case of the vapors. It could be the conventional explanations of the Fed slowly tightening, and/or the market is undergoing an entirely ordinary correction from rising too far too fast. The global economy is showing signs of slowing. Or it could be partially the ongoing uncertainty about Trump’s trade policy. I confess to remaining very nervous about Trump’s tariff »

Is Trump Winning Again?

Featured image Back in June Paul and I both noted the view of economist Irwin Stelzer, who is no fan of Trump, that Trump might in fact win a trade war with China, because Trump has the better poker hand. And I concluded, “File this one away for further reference.” Well lookie here, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today: U.S., China Plot Road Map to Resolve Trade Dispute »

Winning the Trade War With China?

Featured image I have viewed it more as a trade skirmish, perhaps because I am looking at it from an American perspective. Don Surber says that it looks quite different from a Chinese point of view: To find the news, I read the South China Morning Post, which is worried spitless that the Red Chinese economy will tank like its stock market has. (Its stocks overall have declined in value by 40% »

Baby, Chinese spy can drive her car

Featured image In the Politico Magazine article “How Silicon Valley became a den of spies,” Zach Dorfman reported in passing: ” Former intelligence officials told me that Chinese intelligence once recruited a staff member at a California office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the source reported back to China about local politics.” He added parenthetically: “A spokesperson for Feinstein said the office doesn’t comment on personnel matters or investigations, but noted »