Against the backdrop of $150 billion in looming U.S. trade tariffs, Beijing sends an economic emissary to Europe attempting to restructure international trade agreements.
(Reuters) China’s international trade representative held a series of meetings with the ambassadors from major European nations last week to ask them to stand together with Beijing against U.S. protectionism, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.
Some of the western diplomats involved in the meetings with Fu Ziying, who is also a vice-commerce minister, have viewed the approaches as a sign of how anxious Beijing is getting about the expanding conflict with Washington, the sources said.
[…] “China is showing confidence, but internally they appear quite concerned. They have apparently underestimated Trump’s resolve on trade,” the diplomat said, adding that Beijing is nervous about China’s major trading partners siding with Washington. (more)
The problem for China is their prior trade conduct. Big Panda used the WTO to manipulate trade markets. While the U.S., holding the largest world economy has been the biggest victim, the European Union has also lost economic value as an outcome of Beijing manipulating the World Trade Organization. The EU ain’t signing up to be even more of an economic co-dependent to China…
[…] One senior EU diplomat in Brussels who confirmed the meetings said the EU was not in the business of taking sides, and that its goal was to get the multilateral process back on track, referring to efforts to resolve trade disputes through the WTO.
“I think it also smacks of desperation because China also knows that the European Union is not going to confront its biggest ally,” the EU diplomat said of the meetings.
“China has been very effective at making the most of the free-trading rule book. I don’t think anyone in the West is going to leave it to China to set new ones,” the Brussels-based diplomat said. (link)
…When you plant your tree in another man’s orchard, don’t be surprised if you end up paying for your own apples.
In case anyone has not been paying attention…
…. consider the leverage, the economic partnerships, POTUS Trump has already assembled and cultivated in preparation for this confrontation with China:
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.