China: Xi Jinping issues defiant message to foreign powers
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Washington and Beijing have been sparring on issues from the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to China’s expanding nuclear arsenal.
The US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, has hinted that China has made unnamed concessions to unwind the trade war started under Donald Trump.
The spin from Washington is that China’s economy is under pressure after Covid lockdowns and US-led “de-coupling” of supply chains from Chinese producers.
In this upbeat version of current developments, President Xi has seen the wisdom of the Biden Administration’s policies from climate change to America’s current account deficit.
The upcoming meeting has sparked a debate on Twitter with many users criticising Mr Biden’s approach as desperate.
User with the screen name Conan4thepeople wrote: “Can Biden and US be trusted? Biden just banned Huawei. What’s the point for Xi meeting Biden when Biden is not trustable? US changes its approach because it needs China more than China needs the US. And its recent plans to bully China all failed!”
Yesterday, Xi told a virtual conference of Asian Pacific leaders that their countries should not tilt towards alliances with an unnamed outside power, The Telegraph reports.
Since Richard Cobden urged Britain to adopt free trade as the high road to world peace in the 1830s via Norman Angell’s insistence that mutual trade made war “the great illusion” before 1914 and on to the “golden era” of Anglo-Chinese relations proclaimed by David Cameron’s government a decade ago, the mirage that free trade is always cost-free for UK’s security and political principles never fades away.
Unlike the USSR in the first Cold War who had only raw materials to export, China has become a major supplier of manufactured goods and e-commerce facilitating hardware.
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Since China exports around 27 percent of the manufactured goods consumed in the USA, the logjam in American ports in the run up to Thanksgiving’s “Black Friday” sales and then Christmas a month later raises fears of sudden shortages there in high demand goods from Amazon or Walmart.
The Biden Administration says American CEOs have “assured” it that there will be no shortages but that’s the kind of “re-assurance” which sets alarm bells ringing.
Far from having China on the ropes, it seems that Biden is anxious to get a deal – almost any deal – to free up trade to keep American consumers happy before next year’s mid-terms.
China’s leaders calculate that their system can absorb more economic shock than the American one.
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