The United States has made several trade agreements over more than four decades that have injected new life into China’s communist regime.
It’s why a top China analyst is urging President Trump not to make a deal with Beijing.
Gordon G. Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” noted in a column for the Gatestone Institute that American presidents staged such rescues of China in 1972, 1989 and 1999.
“Now, Xi Jinping’s China, plagued by problems of his own making, desperately needs a lifeline,” he said. “A trade deal with President Donald Trump looks as if it is the only thing that can revive the Chinese economy and thereby save Xi’s brand of communism. Many, in fact, are urging Trump to drop his Section 301 tariffs and sign such a pact.”
He pointed out that a besieged Xi is being blamed for multiple policy mistakes.
“First, his relentlessly pursued back-to-Mao policies have helped push the Chinese economy downward, perhaps to the point of contraction, as May’s depressing numbers suggest,” Change wrote. “Perhaps the most indicative statistic is that of imports, which during the month fell 8.5 percent, a clear sign of softening domestic demand.”
He cited economists who say consumption now is driving the Chinese economy, and there are “symptoms of distress,” such as a 16.4 percent decline in auto sales in a year.
China’s money supply is far too large, banks are running low on cash and there is evidence of persistent capital flight.
“This economic downturn is occurring as relations with the United States are deteriorating across-the-board. Xi is being blamed for pushing Trump to start the ‘trade war.’ More important, Xi’s generally belligerent policies are thought to be responsible for China ‘losing America,'” he said.
Then there’s the ongoing conflict over Hong Kong, which is “moving fast” out of Xi’s control.
“The message from Hong Kong is that China’s communists do not keep their word,” he said, and while it’s unfortunate, Americans do need reminding.
“Especially the 661 companies and trade associations that signed a June 13 letter urging the president to drop tariffs,” he said.
And now, Trump is demanding structural changes in the Chinese economy that are not consistent with Xi’s ideology, which leans toward state domination.
America, he said, wants the opposite.
“In short, there is no chance that Xi will comply with any agreement that is acceptable to the United States,” he said.
And that’s good.
“There are, fortunately, two reasons to think no such pact is possible. First, unlike his predecessors, Trump does not believe the success of China’s Communist Party should be a goal of American foreign policy.
“Second, Xi has been putting a deal out of reach, evidently deciding he would rather have someone to blame for China’s various problems – Trump – than solve them with an agreement with the United States,” he said.
Most recently, Xi’s Ministry of Commerce issued demands to Washington, he said, that further threaten any trade deal.