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US-China Relations - 3. page

Reference News: U.S. Predicament Similar to That before the Fall of the Soviet Union

Reference News, a well-known branch of Xinhua, recently reported, based on some Russian sources, that there was a similarity between the current U.S. political situation and the period before the Soviet Union dissolved. The report said that President Trump’s “political incorrectness” and “arrogant impulses” have accelerated the loss of the United States’ “soft power.”  Many U.S. traditional allies who used to follow the U.S. lead blindly have started to “hold their breath” and have doubts. The U.S. political landscape is heavily divided and the U.S. society is losing its traditional values on family and religion. Although the U.S. is still a very powerful nation, yet fewer and fewer of the U.S. population feel proud of being an American. Only 30 percent of the people surveyed outside the United States had a positive view of the Trump-led United States. Even if a Democratic president is elected in the next election, the fall of the U.S. global influence may continue. The loss of American values may lead to the fall of the empire, just like (what happened to) the Soviet empire. Reference News is one of the only two newspapers in China that can directly publish original foreign news reports legally. It is currently the largest daily newspaper in China.

Source: Reference News, August 1, 2019

VOA Chinese: China Lost Nearly Two Million Jobs in the Trade War

Voice of America (VOA) Chinese edition recently published an article stating that, according to a report that a large Chinese investment bank CICC (China International Capital Corporation) just released, China’s manufacturing industry has lost around five million jobs. Among the jobs lost thus far, the trade war was responsible for the loss of about 1.8 million to 1.9 million of them. The CICC economists pointed out that the five million positions reflect roughly 3.4 percent of the total number of manufacturing jobs. The report also indicated that, in addition to the trade war, the domestic economic structural adjustments as well as seasonal factors have also heavily impacted the manufacturing job market. However, the data used for the CICC report were collected before May. It therefore did not reflect the effect of the 10 percent to 25 percent U.S. tariff increase on the US$200 billion Chinese exports to the U.S. All experts expected a much larger scale for job loss once the tariff increase was factored in. In the meantime, China’s second quarter GDP increase slowed down to 6.2 percent, which was the slowest pace of growth since 1992.

Source: VOA Chinese, July 25, 2019

UDN: Beijing May Impose Sanctions on U.S. Companies That Sell Arms to Taiwan

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented on the newly announced U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. At a press conference, Geng said that the Trump administration’s approval of the sale of arms was a serious violation of the basic norms of international law and international relations. He confirmed that, to protect China’s national security, China will impose sanctions on the U.S. companies involved in this transaction. The companies may include General Dynamics (for M1A2 Tanks), BAE (for M88A2 armored recovery vehicles), Oshkosh Corporation (for M1070A1 Heavy Equipment Transporters), and Raytheon (for Stinger surface-to-air missiles). This round of arms sales to Taiwan has the highest dollar amount value among all sales made by the Trump administration, reaching around US$2.2 billion.

Source: UDN, July 13, 2019

China’s Ministry of Commerce Admitted Manufacturers Are Moving Out of China

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that multiple senior leadership team members of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce jointly held a press conference on July 2. The Ministry admitted that industrial players and even supply chains are moving out of China. However, they suggested that it is normal for companies to move in and out as their globalization priorities change. It is understandable that places with lower costs may attract some companies to move out of China. One cannot simply conclude that this is a direct result of the China-US trade friction, since there are many causes. In the press conference, the Ministry also mentioned that its focal points for work this year are to “stabilize foreign trade” and to “stabilize foreign investments.” The Ministry is currently “cleaning up” existing regulations in preparation for the new Foreign Investment Law to take effect next January.

Source: Sohu, July 2, 2019

Global Times: The “Employment Boom” in the West Hides Trouble

Global Times recently published a commentary on the obvious improvements made in reducing unemployment in the West. The article suggested that, although the industrialized countries in the West, especial the United States, enjoyed a so-called “full employment” in the past couple of years, yet many potential issues are moving towards crisis. The commentary says the major tax cut may have boosted the economy but that force is weakening, especially when the budget deficit continues to grow. In the meantime, the labor participation rate remains flat or even worse in the West. Trade friction on the global level also poses a threat to economic growth. The Brexit uncertainty is a good example of the factors that may slow down global growth, which will, in turn, slow down employment. The author concluded that it is much harder to sustain an employment boom in countries like the United States. How long the current state can last is highly questionable.

Source: Global Times, July 6, 2019