Sunday, October 21, 2018

this writer will pull back the curtain just a little bit on things around the edges of hurricane trump's 'struggles' with china and show you things you may not have noticed;

The change in the relationship between the two leading world powers (the USA and China) is a key factor in the situation, not just in the Indo-Pacific, but in the world as a whole.
The answer to the main question – the nature of that relationship in (at least) the first half of the 21st Century – was already more or less clear by the end of the 1990s. Back then, perceptive observers were already predicting that China would be the USA’s main global rival by the end of the 2010s.
The attempts made in the first half of the 2000s by one section of the US establishment to incorporate China into a US-centred world order ended in failure. The “turn towards Asia” in US foreign policy was one result of this failure. The first written record of this sea change was a much-discussed article by Hillary Clinton, published at the end of 2011 in the Foreign Policy journal.
In reality, the first visible sign of this change occurred at the beginning of the 2000s, after US president Bill Clinton’s visit to India. That country was already being seen as a possible counterweight to China.
The rivalry in the global arena between the USA and China has been developing continuously for the last 20 years. At the beginning of his second term in office, Barak Obama initiated G2 meetings between the two countries, in an attempt to put an end to that dangerous trend, but without success.
Fundamentally, despite all the developments in relations between the USA and China over the last few months, nothing has really changed. What is noteworthy, however, is the sheer number of significant events and meetings that have taken place in that short period of time.
The most important of these (a step which, right up to the last minute, the present author was sure would never be taken) was the decision to by the US to impose tariffs totaling 200 billion dollars, representing 40% of imports from China. Another 50 billion dollars should be added to that figure, to represent China’s potential losses from earlier tariffs. In total, China’s exports to the USA are likely to halve.
That is a long way from the proposals to “sort things out before it’s too late” – even without counting the sabre waving and fencing-style challenges. It is an aggressive thrust, resulting in a serious hit. China was forced, naturally, to respond with a counter-thrust, which also hit home. Not as serious a hit, but a hit nevertheless.

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