China

A trade war that’s not so easy to win

Featured image Reportedly, there is a division within the White House over how to proceed with China on trade. One camp, which includes Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, is optimistic that the administration can reach a trade deal with Beijing as things stand now. But Peter Navarro, the senior trade adviser, believes stronger tactics are required to change China’s approach. President Trump is said to agree with Navarro. But what if both »

China’s assault on free speech in Australia and New Zealand

Featured image Last year, we wrote about Confucius Institutes, Red China’s vehicle for conducting ideological warfare in the United States. Beginning in 2004, the Chinese government planted “Institutes” that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world, including more than 100 in the United States. As the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has documented, the Confucius Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan »

Whither China?

Featured image The current unrest in Hong Kong may be the most important geopolitical story of this decade, depending how it plays out. Concerning which, a few observations: • We know enough from recent decades to declare how dictatorships end: they end only when the rulers lose their nerve to kill their own people in large numbers. Forget all the fancy models and theories of our idiot schools of international relations. This »

U.S. designates China a currency manipulator

Featured image The U.S. government has determined that China is manipulating its currency. It will engage with the International Monetary Fund to try to eliminate this unfair form of competition. If there is no progress within a year, China could face sanctions including its firms being prohibited from competition for U.S. government contracts. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the announcement today. Stock prices fell dramatically, with the Dow Jones average shedding more »

What Asian century?

Featured image Two years ago, our friend Michael Auslin published The End of the Asian Century. Michael argued that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Asia is not on its way to global domination and China is not on its way to displacing the U.S. Now, in an essay for Foreign Policy, Michael finds that the prospects for Asia in general, and for China in particular, have diminished further since he published his book. »

Hong Kong, Caracas and Portland

Featured image As you no doubt are aware, there have been mass protests in Hong Kong over China’s increasing assertion of sovereignty over the formerly independent city. Some demonstrations reportedly have turned out hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents. A couple of days ago, demonstrators battled police in the central city: What I want to comment on is the Hong Kong government’s use of violent gangs to suppress demonstrations. The London »

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 »