Trump's China policy shift linked to problems of globalization: expert

The US change in the policy toward China is a part of the overall strategy adopted by the Trump administration, and is linked with the challenges brought about by globalization, according to an expert.

After more than a year of policy uncertainties and shocking senior official reshuffles, the Trump administration is expecting to see its policies take effect in the third year of his term, said Stephen Hadley, head of the United States Institute of Peace.

Hadley refuted the notion that Trump's presidency brings trouble to the American society and globalization, saying that the process of globalization encountered problem two years ago, when many people still believed that it was going smoothly.

In fact, many American people have realized that they are victims of globalization, said Hadley, stressing that this anti-globalization sentiment turned into votes for Trump in the presidential election.

It is not surprising that Trump has adopted many policies which are counter to those of his predecessor. What Trump has done is something like establishing a platform to modify old policies, said the former US national security adviser.

The change in the China policy is a part of Trump's strategic shift and is really necessary, and the need for a change is intensified by China's growing challenges, which have hurt America's geo-political and geo-economic interests worldwide, said Hadley.

In Hadley's opinion, the trade war is one of the important measures that Trump is using to deal with China's challenges. But he said that the escalation of the trade war would cause damages to both countries, calling for a smarter approach to be used to overcome the Chinese challenges.

In the latest trade action against China, Trump has told US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider raising proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent rate that his government is currently mulling. But instead of forcing China to make concessions, the planned tariff hike has irritated Beijing, with its foreign ministry calling it "blackmail" and vowing to "definitely retaliate to safeguard" its legal rights.

The purpose of Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods is to urge China to stop its unfair trade practices, open its market and engage in true market competition. But Hadley admitted that China is making efforts to accelerate the implementation of its economic reforms, which can be reflected by the public remarks by Liu He, China's vice premier and its top economic leader, in which he promised more opening up policies. 

In June, China's National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, and the Ministry of Commerce unveiled a new version of negative list, which cuts the number of items remaining off-limit to foreign investors to 48 from 63, in a move to fulfill the promise of opening more sectors to foreign investment.

Hadley does not blindly praise globalization. He proposed some ways the United States can use to solve the economic and security problems brought by globalization.

The United States should rebuild a reasonable global trading system, in which it must reduce the trade frictions with China, which still sets some limits on market access, said Hadley, adding that technological innovation should be further encouraged in competition with China, which wants to be a global innovation leader by 2030. He also said that the United States should strengthen security and defense cooperation with the European Union as Russia and China are increasing military buildup.

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