China

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 »

Trump backs down on China tariffs

Featured image The U.S. and China have reached a deal on trade. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said this about the deal: Right now, we have agreed to put tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework. We are immediately going to follow this up with . . . hard commitments in agriculture, where we expect to see a very big increase — 35-40 percent increases — in agriculture this year alone. »

Trump weighs rejoining the TPP

Featured image Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton didn’t agree on much during the 2016 campaign, but they did agree that the U.S. should not participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I read this as a sign that the U.S. should stay in the TPP. That’s not why I favored staying in, though. Nor was my opinion based on the virtues of free trade. It’s possible to be a free trader and still »

In Twitter Diplomacy, China Is Up, Russia Is Down

Featured image Yesterday the financial markets soared in response to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi’s speech was conciliatory, and suggested that, far from igniting a trade war, President Trump’s proposed punitive tariffs have brought about important and positive changes in our economic relationship with China, including, among other things, lower tariffs on American automobiles and better protection for American intellectual property. Time will tell how this plays out, but »

A trade war we’d be unlikely to win

Featured image According to President Trump, trade wars are easy to win. This may be true in some cases, but a trade war with China would be anything but easy. Steve says, based on sources close to Trump, that the president believes we can win a trade war with China because China needs the U.S. more than the U.S. needs China. Thus, the theory goes, the Chinese will blink first. Trump’s premise »

Texas A&M cuts ties with Confucius Institute

Featured image I wrote here and here about Confucius Institutes, the vehicle through which China wages ideological warfare on America’s campuses and even at our high schools. I explained: Since 2004, the Chinese government has 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) documented in this report, the Confucius »

Trade war with China? We’re already in one

Featured image Yesterday, there were two developments on the trade front. First, the Trump administration said it will impose tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese goods and limit China’s ability to invest in the U.S. technology sector. Second, the administration issued a reprieve on steel and aluminum tariffs for some of our closest trading partners. As a supporter of free trade, I welcome the second development. But I also welcome the first. »

Real Trade War or Art of the Deal?

Featured image A trade war with China? As it happens, I spent some time early in the week with Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation, who has been close to Trump and who, along with Trump’s new senior economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, helped fashion the tax reform bill recently enacted. He has shared with me a couple of times in recent months his private conversations with Trump on economic issues. Steve said »

Xi Jinping’s promotion signals a cold war with China

Featured image Peter Beinart proclaims that “the Trump administration is preparing for a new Cold War.” Against whom? Against Russia and China. The left can’t seem to make up its mind. Is President Trump a tool of Putin or an anti-Russia cold warrior? I say he’s neither. Instead, I think Trump is slowly recognizing, as President Obama never seemed to, that Russia and China are waging a Cold War against us, and »

Confucius Institutes and our high schools [UPDATED]

Featured image I wrote here about the Confucius Institutes, a mechanism through which the Chinese government fights its ideological battle on American campuses. The Institutes offer Chinese language and culture courses at more than 100 American colleges and universities, while avoiding mention of human rights abuses, portraying Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and doing their best to make sure American students know nothing more of China than the regime’s »

The Confucius Institutes, China’s vehicle for ideological warfare in America

Featured image Last night, I wrote about Taiwan and the growing Chinese threat. The threat I discussed was the military one. In the modern world, ideological warfare goes hand-in-hand with military threats. Thus, though few Americans know about it, we shouldn’t be surprised that China is waging ideological warfare on American college and university campuses. What’s surprising, perhaps, is the complicity of our colleges and universities. China fights its ideological battle on »