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Even though Trump has tweeted the following, Vice-Premier Liu He -- our chief negotiator in the Trade Talks -- is still going to the final round of 'negotiations' in Washington.|
The elite-school admissions scandal, the Meng/Huawei case, the weapons sales to Taiwan, the Iranian sanctions, the BRI Conference are all previews of the main battle, albeit fought in the periphery of the titanic struggle.
Blackmailing, extortion, damage control -- these are all unspoken battles conducted underneath the facade of big smiles and vigorous handshakes.
Nothing is as innocent as it seems in international politics.
The following was uploaded by forumite reedak on May 6, 2019:
1. Donald Trump tweeted on 5 May 2019:
"For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars...."
2. The rest of the message was carried over in the next tweet:
"....of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!"
3. Donald Trump is so confident that he is going to win the trade war that he bragged in March, "We will do very well either way, with or without a deal."
Please note the last few words in his May 5 tweet: "....they attempt to renegotiate. No!" Trump seems to rule out further negotiation. He seems to say: "Surrender now, or else we’ll finish the job!"
There is a Chinese saying "Worship the high, trample the low". There is another Chinese saying, "A human heart can become so greedy that it can be compared to a snake swallowing an elephant". Here I coin the term "trumpython" for a "bully king" who is so ruthless and brutal that he would trample his victims into the ground or out of existence.
Trump and company seem to have reached the (wrong?) conclusion (or actually a delusion?) that China is a weakling after silently measuring it up in the 10 months of trade negotiation.
4. Using simple arithmetic calculations, some people claim that China is in a weaker position due to its huge trade surplus with the US. As a result, China cannot match its tariffs one to one with the US in the trade war. However, Trump's tariffs should be of no concern to China. As pointed out in an article by Mark Niquette on January 17, 2019, "While Trump has suggested on Twitter and in public comments that tariffs are somehow being charged to or paid by China and other countries, trade economists say that’s generally misleading. US importers of record are responsible for the duties, and ultimately US businesses and consumers could pay through higher costs, they say."
Hence, China needs not raise any more tariffs on US goods. It just has to sit back and laugh at Donald Trump for fooling his own people into filling up the US coffers with their hard-earned money. Higher tariffs on Chinese goods are akin to full-blown economic sanctions, placing China in the same league of Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela which are heavily sanctioned by the US. Using an analogy of a boy not worried of getting his body wet anymore to play in the rain after falling into a pool, China should have no qualm trading freely with those heavily sanctioned countries if Trump foolishly carries out his threat of higher tariffs on more Chinese goods.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
The 70 y/o man is ready for the biggest gamble of his life, so nominally he is ready to re-impose the 25% tariff on additional Chinese goods or send troops to fight a major war anytime. Legality has never been a concern for him or his yes-men -- in other words, his is an outlaw administration.
Is our side ready physically and mentally to take up the challenge from the ogling ogre?
Could we still afford to squander some money to help rebuild the tourist attraction Notre Dame, knowing that the Cowshed with a spire wasn't far away from where the Versailles Treaty was signed in May, 1919?
Ask yourself this: even though you know the name of the protagonist in the American film "Avengers," do you even know the name of our military chief under our president?
There is a Chinese saying: "When two opponents encounter on a narrow path, the bolder one wins."
I hope our side is the bolder and wiser one, even though neither of the two has any military experience.