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Trump's past remarks and current actions bode ill [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-2-3 09:14:55 |Display all floors

Less than two weeks into his presidency Donald Trump seems to have proved — in an ominous sense for many people in the United States and abroad — that his campaign rhetoric was not just empty promises.

Despite mounting opposition, Trump has signed executive orders to overturn his predecessor's healthcare reform law, withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, build an anti-migrant wall along the border with Mexico, and temporarily ban entry into the US by nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Even though it has so far been spared a direct provocation from the world's sole superpower, China has no reason to be complacent, given what Trump has previously said about it and the hostile views expressed by some of those who make up his team, especially former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who was confirmed as US secretary of state on Wednesday.

Prior to his election victory, Trump vowed to levy massive tariffs on China's exports, label the country a currency manipulator and take a tougher stance against it on the South China Sea.
Trade moves seem already underway. US regulators on Tuesday imposed hefty tariffs on certain washing machines that it said were imported from China at below fair value.

Such tariffs are a double-edged sword though, as they will surely affect US consumers and incur retaliatory countermeasures that will hurt the interests of US businesses.
The same can be said of labeling China a currency manipulator, which is patently false since Beijing has been working to prop up, not depreciate, the yuan's value over the last year.
How seriously the fallout will be, in jobs and investment, will probably determine how far Trump is prepared to go on a confrontational course.

But with its exports now accounting for 13.8 percent of the world's total, compared with 9 percent for the US, China is better positioned for trade frictions.

More worrying though is the possibility of a clash in the South China Sea. Although US oil companies have long coveted exploiting oil and gas reserves in the region, and of course the US navy seeks to maintain its dominance, trying to block China from its own territory as was mentioned by Tillerson at his confirmation hearing would be a recipe for disaster.

China needs to cast aside any illusions it may have had that Trump was just mouthing off to attract votes and instead be prepared for the worst.(Editorial from China Daily website)

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Post time 2017-2-3 12:20:03 |Display all floors
With power comes responsibility. But responsibility alone is insufficient. It must be leavened with wisdom.

Trump must exercise some wisdom to see what has happened to himself now that he holds a mantle of power which is no different in strength from those held by others.

First, his own achievement in the business sector has been because of his legacy from his father. He didn't make it all on his own. Unlike the american, mexican, chinese and other workers of the world, he was given a silver spoon from birth. Granted he expanded the legacy and added wealth but it is a mirage because he is as red in debts as he is as blue in wealth, much of which made from deals with countries around the world, China including.

He shouldn't psychologically think that since China is associated with the color red, he can get rid of his red debts by going head-to-head on China in much the same way french north africans in Paris are stealing from french Chinese in Paris just because the former say they are muslims and therefore have a right to purloin welfare from the hardworking french Chinese.

Second, he must discern the insensate grand strategy he is executing. Trade protectionism doesn't jive in tandem with military expansionism. One goes inwards, the other outwards. The torsional force so created will create a vacuum in the center; as events start running over his head, things will collapse into that vacuum; it will become a geopolitical black hole no game theory model from any of his think-tanks can describe accurately so that matters will start careening to disaster by the chaos theory of entropy in the thermodynamics of human affairs.

Furthermore, protectionism on the one hand and expansionism on the other spells only a self-serving mentality that hangs out to dry the rationale for interference in other peoples affairs presumably out of a sense of ally support especially when he has also torpedoed the very TPP accord that the US albeit by his political rival had cobbled and coerced the same allies to sign. Or is he saying Obama as the 44th US president didn't have the same interest of the same country in mind just because one groups is democrat and the other is but half-republican veering to neo-conservatism?

Third, he must candidly ask himself when he was building his own business, what did he believe in from the outset that had served his purpose and objective? Didn't he believe in American industry founded and lubricated by the Invisible Hand of capitalism? If he did then, why not now? If he retorts the American worker is suffering for it, then he should exercise in sequence honesty followed by reality followed by wisdom to seek a viable solution out of their predicament.

Take his recent executive order to use only American-made cold-rolled steel for oil pipelines as an example. Fine, one can excuse knee-jerk actions to excite one's supporters; i am no stranger to executive orders of my own device. But did he think a step further by doing so what will be the bottom-line result? Surely the art of his deals is all about bottom-lines too? The result will be higher oil refined prices because American labour costs to make those steel pipes are higher than obtainable from the world market? And that is because American steel mills whether the mini-mills or the hightech behemoths have to input ruinous worker healthcare and retirement liabilities into their labor rates which is also why it makes utterly incongruous sense to impose tariffs and anti-dumping duties on steel imports from countries like China which if he would care to check last makes for 1,300 million what his country makes for 320 million. On economies of scale alone, protectionist measures cannot be justified let alone the savings foregone by not buying cheaper imports just to save enterprises badly run for years until their liabilities are now threatening not just american jobs but also the integrity of the global trading system besides world peace.  

Fourth, if he still cannot fathom this, at the least consider the American worker he wants to uplift is also the same American consumer his policies will finish off through making the goods they purchase more expensive by the stroke of a xenophobic mind, and by the same token, the American industry making for the American consumer he wants to uplift to help make America great again.  

Fifth, he should be more honest, realistic and wise about matters than the people he has surrounded himself with to advise him on what to do without putting words into his directions to fit their own jaundiced-mind prejudices and personal agendas.

Can he for instance safely say they are not on their own already throwing bones to their own networks who are obsequiously pliant because they are already looking to reap a post-Trump era?

He should fully realize that in just one month, he has surrounded himself with the most globally unsettling group of advisors and helpers, all of whom espousing right-wing neo-con vituperatives more radical than the previous republican grouping that have upended global realpolitik and which can only lead to future altercations and conflicts to no one's gain in the end.

His Tillerson, Bannon and Navarro have already in all but so many words preempted their chief by already declaring proxy war on China, one even to the extent of playing on judeo-christian sentiments, another by making a video to make China the same bogeyman of America's own excesses and lazyboning no different from the way the author of Mein Kampf had denigrated the jews yet upon whom Americans harbor conscience-stricken partiality. In what way are the chinese they dislike different from the jews they support? Do they need to ask the french north african muslims in Paris for a more academically balanced answer to that question? Bannon, as a banal example, has already castigated China for her 'ancient territorial claims'. By doing so, this weak specimen of neo-KKK white supremacy, furthermore from Goldman Sachs, has just insulted the intelligence of the American forefathers. Is he saying that American natives have no ancient territorial claims to their own North American land?

He should take a step back and ask himself quietly if the situation is reversed and the US is China and China is the US, would he expect others who have 5,000 years civilizational experience to stand down while he of a 150 years no-culture experience can elbow push others around just because he cannot put his own house in order without punishing others in the process for no fault of their own?  To save him trouble looking, he certainly can't find any answer from Yale's Skull and Crossbones alumni buddy club of power-mongers what more Washington's illuminati fraternity.


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Post time 2017-2-3 12:20:14 |Display all floors

Sixth, he should also realize that to be a really wise world leader what more the leader of the American peoples, he must temper the simplistic expectations of his supporters and voters who have no inkling about the parameters and limitations by which their corporate bosses have to operate in a world already integrated and interconnected in fortune and fate, no thanks to the same American operatives of inveterate capitalistic expansion.  He cannot rashly brush aside trade realities and political protocols just to pander to those who can only ask and clamor for "what's in it for me now?" without thinking all along the cheaper comforts they have been getting at lower prices so far are at the expense of so many others around the world who have had to make at those prices so that they can make a simpler living just to survive. Or is the american definition of human rights to be exclusively and elitistically the province of only the american as the paper-holding worker of the world's first global hegemon? Won't continuing to do so make all that is America paradoxically less humane instead and cheapen all notions of humanity that the US has tried to monopolize through the centuries by punitive action and cynical media?

It should also not be lost on him that what is suggested here is itself a tragedy of the modern era. The rest of the world is asking to earn honest wages by making more for americans out of their surplus production so that americans can maintain the american way of life and achieve the american dream while those producers can climb up the same ladder of progress from rungs that the american was on much earlier.

Or is Trump actually asking his Americans to wake up from that dream instead that has already been long achieved but politically denied and overlooked for the convenience of personal political expediency?

Seventh, by firing Yates and saying she betrayed his administration, he is saying to the world let alone the peoples across America that he is already harboring a siege mentality for trying to ride roughshod over constitutional limitations to what he has nevertheless done on immigration.

Doing so might have spiked the NYSE but he would have acknowledged by now it was transient only and at the price of him looking silly for not researching more on the need to unravel the same legal route first that has arrived at the present destination of unacceptable door-opening. Not doing so will make him look despotic, dictatorial, and totalitarian instead, choice of words not intended.

Surely his business management experience would have told him you don't talk down people what to do but win them over by right moves delivered with righteous elan.  But one forgets, he remains a blustery and overpriced contractor of bricks and mortar hewn on the rock of brand-building to create an aura of the midas touch only concocted in a self-serving mind that still wants to be popular but through the tactic of jawboning.  Does he for one minute think what he can do onto others, others shouldn't do onto him?

Eighth, he should four-eye with President Xi. Now, why has this not been done up to now? Is he by not doing so trying to downplay China's position as the second biggest, some will say the most preeminent, superpower and global economy? That is cheap stance for a US President what more a billionaire with business interests in China. It only shows an ego. We have here the world's most potentially incendiary situation so all egos should be left at the door and honestly, reality and wisdom exercised throughout.  A new narrative of coexistence and cooperation must be responsibly created for this 21st century to skirt around all the mistakes made by past leaders of the last two centuries.

The logistics of such a four-eye meeting is simple. Where to meet? Pick an atoll. What to eat? Ask for Volga caviar; Mr Putin will undoubtedly be delighted to oblige. Who to attend? Trump, Xi and their interpreters only. Leave Navarro, Bannon, Tillerson and the others in Beijing to visit factories and shop in her finest malls, of which i fondly remember number five large ones, each having five floors; their wives will like the top floors which sell very nice and shiny pearls. Media coverage? How about doing the press conference in Pyongyang? North Korean kimchi is of superior quality. And what's the agenda of the meeting? Why, how China can help Americans achieve their American Dream without the US going to war with China or erecting trade tariffs and anti-dumping duties.

I'm feeling generous today. Stopping at eight..... now.

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Post time 2017-2-3 12:21:10 |Display all floors
This post was edited by markwu at 2017-2-3 13:56


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