Trump places decoupling with China on the negotiating table

A day after top U.S. diplomats met with their Chinese counterparts in Hawaii, U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his threat to cut ties ties with China given its history of not sticking to its commitments.

Describing the U.S.-China as “tense” a top U.S. diplomat said has recommitted to the first part of a trade deal reached earlier this year and that the coming weeks will show signs of progress, if any.

The Trump Administration has made balancing the massive U.S.-China trade deficit a top priority.

“It was not Ambassador Lighthizer’s fault (yesterday in Committee) in that perhaps I didn’t make myself clear,” Trump said in a tweet referring to his trade representative, Robert Lighthizer. “But the U.S. certainly does maintain a policy option, under various conditions, of a complete decoupling from China.”

Relations between the two, share a common experience with other countries who are probing the source of the Wuhan coronavirus, and have deteriorated to a new low. Washington has repeatedly accused Beijing of not being transparent about the outbreak.

The original of the of the coronavirus and how it was allowed to spread from China to other countries across the globe is not the only point of friction.

China’s reneging on its legal commitments to Hong Kong and its imposition of a new security law over the territory have prompted the U.S., and other countries including Britain, to initiate a process to eliminate special it provides to the territory.

Relations between the two countries became lucidly clear with Trump saying last month he had zero interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and suggested that he could even cut ties with China.

Keeping this background in view, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer said, he expects more supply chains to move to the U.S. given changes in regulations and taxation.

As the Hawaii meeting began, Trump signed a bill into law which called for sanctions against those responsible for repression of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region where according to media reports vivisections of prisoners are carried out routinely, much like the horrors committed by the Nazis in WWII against the jews.

David Stilwell, the assistant secretary for East Asia, reported China’s attitude in the talks as not forthcoming.

He went on to add, recent Chinese barbarism in India, in the South China sea and in Hong Kong have squarely placed the onus of backing away on Beijing. China’s overarching aggressive policy is stretching its resources and Stilwell said China has recommitted to following through on the trade agreement.

“The trade deal – the Chinese have recommitted to that numerous times … and they insist that they will follow through,” Stilwell said. “This is a good acid test to see if they will be cooperative partners,” while adding, “We’ll see in the next week or two, or however long it takes, (if) they begin to live up to their commitments”.

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