wchao37 Post time: 2019-6-14 10:06
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Donald Trump is not fit to be a political ...
Martin Wolf, Financial Times, June 5 2019: The 100-Year Conflict
"Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organizing principle of US economic, foreign and security policies...
The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China. Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalized economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded. The astonishing white paper on the trade conflict, published on Sunday by China, is proof. The - to me, depressing - fact is that on many points Chinese positions are right.
The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable. The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated.
Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system.
The US negotiating position vis-a-vis China is that “might makes right”. This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement.
A dispute over the terms of market opening or protection of intellectual property might be settled with careful negotiation. Such a settlement might even help China, since it would lighten the heavy hand of the state and promote market-oriented reform.
But the issues are now too vexed for such a resolution. This is partly because of the bitter breakdown in negotiation. It is still more because the US debate is increasingly over whether integration with China's state-led economy is desirable. The fear over Huawei focuses on national security and technological autonomy. Liberal commerce is increasingly seen as “trading with the enemy”.
This is the most important geopolitical development of our era. Not least, it will increasingly force everybody else to take sides or fight hard for neutrality. But it is not only important. It is dangerous.
It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason. China’s ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy.....
An effort to halt China’s economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail.
Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China’s natural rise is threatened.
Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic western elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day.
Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate....
Today's attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain."