A day after the top diplomats of the United States participating in negotiations with counterparts of China in Beijing, US president Donald Trump renewed his threat to end ties with China. It was also a day ago that the US trade representative said he did not think that a complete separation of the US and Chinese economies would be viable option.
After the first high-level face-to-face diplomatic talks in months with China, the top diplomat from the US for East Asia termed the US-China relations as “tense”. He however also said that China had showed a commitment to adhering to the first phase of the US-China trade deal hat was reached in January this year and signs of progress in this matter will become evident in the coming weeks.
For Trump, the reduction of the huge trade imbalance China against the US as one of his core presidential agenda but as the re-election campaign for trump is heating up with elections in November, US-China relations have soured steadily.
“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,” he added in the tweet.
He did not see that as viable, Lighthizer told a House of Representatives committee on Wednesday. “Do I think that you can sit down and decouple the United States economy from the Chinese economy?” he said. “No, I think that was a policy option years ago. I don’t think it’s a … reasonable policy option at this point.”
There was no immediate response to Trump’s tweet from Lighthizer office.
Since the novel coronavirus pandemic which started in China and hit the US hard, the relations between the two largest economies of the world have reached their lowest point in years. The Trump administration has been severe in accusing China of not being transparent in handling of the virus outbreak which resulted in its spread globally.
The attempt of China to impose new security legislation on Hong Kong has been one of the key issues among the multiple points of friction between the two countries. This incident has prompted Trump to start a process of eliminating the special status that the US provides to Hong Kong.
The hostility in the US-China relationship became more evident last month after the US president commented that he was not interested in speaking to the Chinese President Xi Jin Ping right now, even though he considered Xi to be his friend. He also suggested that he could even cut US ties with China if necessary.
The new tax and regulatory changes brought in the US would see more supply chains moving back into the country from China, expects Lighthizer. He however also noted that there would be significant positive changes in the US-China relationship because of the trade deal between the two countries as well as an increase in the purchase of American products by China.
(Adapted from DeccanChronicle.com)