Trump said on Monday he expects a “great deal” with China on trade. This is a change; previously he seemed to expect a great deal from China.
With the fallout from the ongoing US-China trade spat spilling beyond the world’s two largest economies, there has been a growing desire for a meeting between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump, in the expectation that a face-to-face meeting would de-escalate tensions, given the “great chemistry” that Trump has previously touted between them.
Thus, Trump’s remark has fueled anticipation that the two leaders will take the opportunity to hold one-on-one talks on the sidelines of at the G20 Leaders Summit in Argentina at the end of November to find a way to at least ease, if not end, the current confrontation.
It would be their first meeting since the trade frictions started, and hopes are high that the two leaders’ personal rapport would be able to reboot relations, which have been hacked by the United States’ insecurities in the face of the trend toward a greater balance in the arrangement of global power.
Yet it would be hasty to read too much into Trump’s optimism, especially as it was accompanied by a threat of more tariffs.
Given that the US Commerce Department also announced it had removed Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit from its list of suppliers on Monday, alleging the Chinese company stole intellectual property from US semiconductor company Micron Technology, it seems unlikely there has been any change of heart by the US administration.
The Chinese company is reportedly at the heart of Made in China 2025, a program to develop new high-technology industries that the Trump administration has specifically targeted to stop China gaining in advantage in the industries of the future.
Should they have a meeting in Argentina, Xi could explain how the plan envisions China’s future development, and how it will advance further reform and opening-up, creating new opportunities from which the US can benefit.
Although it is a trait of Washington to expect immediate gains, it should bear in mind that the remarkable transformation of China from a planned economy to the thriving market it is today has taken 40 years of vision, hard work and trial and error. It is unrealistic and unreasonable for the Trump administration to expect the latest measures to bring instant gratification.
The prospects of a deal remain slim while the US administration refuses to listen to reason, and persists on viewing trade as a zero-sum game. Trump could achieve a great deal by rejecting that outdated view.
- Above article was taken from China Daily Editorial