Chinese will withstand US pressure and stand up to bullying
Story Code : 793482
Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs, made the remarks after Trump threatened to more than double tariffs on China, claiming that Beijing “broke” a supposed agreement on trade.
On Sunday, Trump said that he would raise duties on 200 billion dollars of Chinese products from 10 to 25 percent beginning on Friday, reversing a decision he had made in February to retain them at 10 percent as the two sides made progress on trade talks.
Washington has accused Beijing of backtracking on the provisions of a draft trade accord the US considered settled.
“Trump is like a drunken sailor, stumbling from one bar to the next, picking fights with whoever he encounters. Throwing punches left and right he’s bound to once again fall on his face,” Professor Etler said.
“Trump has been touting that he had a done deal with China on trade, that all that needed was for China to come hat in hand to Washington to sign on the dotted line. As with all his other ‘done deals’ it was more a figment of his imagination than reality. The same scenario has played out in Korea and Venezuela. Trump thinks that whatever he wishes will come true, only to be bitten by the cold truth, free and independent, sovereign nations will not kowtow to US bullying, no matter what short-term sacrifices they may make,” he stated.
“Trump was sadly mistaken if he thought China would surrender to his unreasonable trade demands. He's motivated by the fact that the US economy so far has dodged the bullet of increased tariffs. Feeling his oats, and mistakenly thinking that the Chinese economy is dependent on US largess, Trump figured that China would cave and give in to his demands. He’s made the same mistake with Korea, Iran and Venezuela, overplaying his hand and reaching too far,” he noted.
‘China is willing to meet the US half way’
“China is more than willing to meet the US half way. Many of the US trade provisions were already on China’s domestic reform agenda and China has shown its willingness to import more US product, especially farm goods and liquid natural gas from US fracking fields. China would import hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of computer chips as well, but the US refuses to do so on spurious national security grounds,” Etler said.
“The world will soon find out if Trump’s posturing on increasing tariffs on Chinese goods to 25% is all bluff and bluster, or for real.
He has used this trick before, threatening ‘fire and fury’ only to back down at the last moment. It’s his way of trying to extract as many concessions as possible from his opponents. If the tactic fails, he can still claim that it succeeded in order to cover up the fact that the consummated deal did not live up to his hyped expectations. In that sense Trump hopes to snatch a PR victory from the jaws of defeat, as occurred with the failed Hanoi summit. Trump tried to spin that he was hanging tough in the face of Kim Jong-un's intransigence, but in truth it was the exact opposite. The same may apply with the current trade negotiations. If at the last moment the deal is signed Trump can claim that his hard ball tactics won the day, even if the final trade deal falls short of expectations,” he noted.
‘Chinese retaliation will hit Trump’s base’
“On the other hand, if Trump follows through with increased tariffs it will have severe adverse effects on the US economy as it will amount to a 25% consumer tax on a wide variety of goods imported from China. The US will not be able to find new sources for most of that trade or produce the goods themselves, resulting in downward pressure on the US economy. Chinese retaliation will, as in the past, hit Trump’s Midwest farm base the hardest,” the analyst said.
“Trump and his ideological mentors think that they can bring China to heel by a full court economic, diplomatic and military press.
Their hopes however are unfounded. The Chinese economy is far more resilient than they realize, China has far more friends than they appreciate and the Chinese people can withstand pressure far better than their US counterparts. If the Cuban, Korean, Venezuelan, Russia, Syrian and Iranian people, among others, can stand up to US bullying, how in the world can the idiots in Washington think the Chinese people will not do the same?” he concluded.