In retaliation for $50 billion in U.S. trade tariffs against Chinese imports, China laughably hits back with $3 their own billion tariffs against the U.S. According to most reporting Beijing has selected U.S. pork and scrap aluminum as targets for a 25% tariff, along with wine and fruit tariffs around 15%.
It should be emphasized the approach by China is rather ridiculous considering the Chinese government purchased the largest U.S. pork manufacturer Smithfield in 2013 for $5 billion; at the time the purchase price was 30% more than the company was worth. Smithfield, now a Chinese company, represents 25% of all U.S. pork products.
Do you really think China is going to not import it’s own pork products… or subject them to a domestic tax? Think about it. It’s ridiculous. China knows they have ZERO leverage in a trade-dispute with the U.S., they cannot afford to lose access to the U.S. market.
The example of Smithfield foods is exactly what we have outlined in how China cannot sustain itself and needs to control the assets of foreign countries. Hence, their one-road/one-belt program for securing products and raw materials. China is a dependent economy, they need to exploit global trade to survive. China cannot feed itself. This is the inherent flaw within their short-sighted authoritarian government-controlled economic model.
Again, for emphasis, the Chinese government underwrote the purchase of Smithfield foods in 2013. They paid 30% more than the company was worth because they were securing access to food just like they would any other raw material (uranium, minerals, etc). China also purchases U.S. politicians to retain their ability in this regard.
Now look at the cartoon from the unofficial Chinese state-run media today:
[…] China’s latest countermeasures target fruit, pork and other US goods totaling some $3 billion, the equivalent of China’s losses caused by US tariffs. The list indicates China will never compromise and will always retaliate against unreasonable tariffs.
For every single move against Chinese interests, the US can expect retaliation. It is time for Washington to bid farewell to the delusional, make-believe world whereby it imagines China an unresponsive, over-tolerant nation.
China does not want a trade war, but it will not retreat should one emerge. Monday’s announcement is hardly a subtle hint. China will show its strength through action.
Recent White House statements have revealed a tough stance on Sino-US trade disparities while some have even shown a level of optimism at resolving trade conflicts through negotiation. But it is not hard to realize that such self-contradictory behavior reveals that the US knows its actions are unjustifiable. China’s attitude toward a trade conflict has been consistent and Beijing will carefully handle all challenges from the US.
There are always a few Western politicians who think China might step back and concede. But they are wrong. The Chinese government only cares about what is in the best interest of its people rather than elections.
Washington must be reasonable dealing with China. Threats will fail as China is not afraid of the US, plus the Chinese have zero tolerance for political weakness. (read more)
Nuance and subtlety is everything in China. Culturally harsh tones are seen as a sign of weakness and considered intensely impolite in public displays between officials; especially within approved and released statements by officials representing the government.
There is no doubt in my mind that President Trump has a very well thought out long-term strategy regarding China. President Trump takes strategic messaging toward the people of china very importantly. President Trump has, very publicly, complimented the friendship he feels toward President Xi Jinping; and praises Chairman Xi for his character, strength and purposeful leadership.
To build upon that projected and strategic message – President Trump seeded the background by appointing Ambassador Terry Branstad, a 30-year personal friend of President Xi Jinping.
To enhance and amplify the message – and broadcast cultural respect – U.S. President Trump used Mar-a-Lago as the venue for their visit, not the White House. And President Trump’s beautiful granddaughter, Arabella, sweetly serenaded the Chinese First Family twice in Mandarin Chinese song showing the utmost respect for the guests and later for the hosts.
Why the constant warm messaging?
What is the purpose?
What does all this have to do with a trade confrontation?
Historic Chinese geopolitical policy, vis-a-vis their totalitarian control over political sentiment (action) and diplomacy through silence, is evident in the strategic use of the space between carefully chosen words, not just the words themselves.
Each time China takes aggressive action (red dragon) China projects a panda face through silence and non-response to opinion of that action;…. and the action continues. The red dragon has a tendency to say one necessary thing publicly, while manipulating another necessary thing privately. The Art of War.
President Trump is the first U.S. President to understand how the red dragon hides behind the panda mask.
It is specifically because he understands that Panda is a mask that President Trump messages warmth toward the Chinese people, and pours vociferous praise upon Xi Jinping, while simultaneously confronting the geopolitical doctrine of the Xi regime.
In essence Trump is mirroring the behavior of China while confronting their economic duplicity.
China has no cultural or political space between peace and war; they are a historic nation based on two points of polarity. They see peace and war as coexisting with each other.
China accepts and believes opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Flowing between these polar states is a natural dynamic to be used -with serious contemplation- in advancing objectives as needed.
Peace or war. Win or lose. Yin and Yang. Culturally there is no middle position in dealings with China; they are not constitutionally capable of understanding or valuing the western philosophy of mutual benefit where concession of terms gains a larger outcome. If it does not benefit China, it is not done. The outlook is simply, a polarity of peace or war. In politics or economics the same perspective is true. It is a zero-sum outlook.
Therefore, when you see China publicly use strong language – it indicates a level of internal disposition beyond the defined western angst. Big Panda becomes Red Dragon; there is no mid-status or evolutionary phase. Every American associated with investment, economics and China would be well advised to put their business affairs in order accordingly.
President Trump will not back down from his position; the U.S. holds all of the leverage and the issue must be addressed. President Trump has waiting three decades for this moment. This President and his team are entirely prepared for this.
We are finally confronting the geopolitical Red Dragon, China!
The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace and war. The symbol in any figure’s right hand has more significance than one in its left hand. Also important is the direction faced by the symbols central figure. The emphasis on the eagles stare signifies the preferred disposition. An eagle holding an arrow also symbolizes the war for freedom, and its use is commonly referred to the liberation fight of righteous people from abusive influence. The eagle on the original seal created for the Office of the President showed the gaze upon the arrows.
The Eagle and the Arrow – An Aesop’s Fable
An Eagle was soaring through the air. Suddenly it heard the whizz of an Arrow, and felt the dart pierce its breast. Slowly it fluttered down to earth. Its lifeblood pouring out. Looking at the Arrow with which it had been shot, the Eagle realized that the deadly shaft had been feathered with one of its own plumes.
Moral: We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.
Leverage… We have it, China doesn’t.
China is no longer hiding their alignment with their proxy province of North Korea. Meanwhile President Trump has cultivated a very close relationship with Shinzo Abe of Japan, and to a lesser extent Prime Minister Modi of India.
Two teams preparing for the economic conflict:
China/North-Korea/Russia and Pakistan.
U.S./South-Korea/Japan and India.
That’s the big picture. The rest is chaff and countermeasures.