The pandemic and now the protests have sucked all the oxygen on our foreign policy…..especially with China.
Donald the Orange strutted out to mikes in the Rose Garden and spouted his diatribes against China…..
He is punishing China for their heavy handed treatment of Hong Kong protesters…..
In a news conference directed at China on Friday, President Trump issued a series of accusations against the Chinese government, accusing them of destroying American industry, of stealing important industrial secrets. He also announced the US pullout from the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing China of controlling it. This is leading to banning some foreign nationals, and restrictions on Chinese students.
The big topic though was China’s recent crackdown in Hong Kong, which Trump and other US officials say meant that Hong Kong is no longer to be considered autonomous for the sake of US law, and will lose also of its special status treatments related to autonomy. This is also going to mean the US limiting Hong Kong’s access to US technologies.
Threats of US tariffs on Hong Kong were panned by many, as the US doesn’t import much from Hong Kong in the first place. By contrast, the US exports a fair bit to the area, so retaliatory Chinese measures could hit harder.
This is mostly just a continuation of US acrimony against China, which is leading to their worst relationship in decades, and warnings of a new Cold War. Experts are predicting that China will impose some retaliatory measures against the US over this.
While some of this is likely to be reflected in more trade disputes, the US naval operations in the South China Sea continue to risk military confrontations. Trump accused China of illegally claiming parts of the Pacific Ocean. More US ships approaching China-claimed islands is almost certain to lead to China confronting them. What that leads to remains to be seen.
Trump’s remarks were prodded on by that Neocon warmonger Pompeo……
Trump’s remarks followed the passage of national security legislation covering Hong Kong by the National People’s Congress in China on Thursday that provoked fresh protests in Hong Kong. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set the stage for Trump’s announcement by formally declaring earlier this week that Hong Kong no longer had “a high degree of autonomy,” paving the way for punitive measures.
The Chinese legislation is undoubtedly anti-democratic and will be used to intimidate and arrest critics and political opponents in Hong Kong under sweeping subversion, terrorist and foreign influence provisions. The US intervention, however, has nothing to do with defending the democratic rights of the Hong Kong people, but is part of the intensifying US campaign to undermine China which Washington regards as a threat to US global dominance.
Trump hailed Hong Kong as a “free society” and “a bastion of liberty,” but the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997. Democratic rights in Hong Kong have always been limited. China took over the colonial forms of rule from the British—the unelected British colonial governor became the chief executive appointed by a pro-Beijing committee and the limited elections for the legislative council remained in place.
I find his comments a bit hypocritical after his bold statements about the protests in this country being met with “vicious dogs” and “awesome weapons”…..
But that silliness aside let get back to the mention of naval vessels in the South China Sea……
One of the most dangerous divides is on territorial claims, where the US has been challenging Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea, usually doing so with deliberate naval confrontation by sending warships close to China-claimed islands.
The maritime challenges usually resulted in harsh rhetoric in the past. As ties worsen, there is a growing risk of matters getting out of hand. On Thursday, the USS Mustin, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed near two Chinese-claimed Paracel Islands, Woody Island and Pyramid Rock.
There was no direct confrontation, but Chinese officials say their warships and planes followed the US ship, and issued warnings advising them to leave the area, which China views as part of its territorial waters.
US Naval spokesmen are claiming victory on that, saying the ship “demonstrated that these waters are beyond what China can lawfully claim.” The legal question is a complicated one, as the US rejects claims to both the islands and the sea itself, even though valid Chinese ownership of islands does not automatically confer maritime rights to the surrounding sea.
The US wants to take a hardline position on China, even without international support, and in the South China Sea that has meant backing all nations who have conflicting claims with China’s in the area, even though some of these nations openly reject the US position on the grounds that they don’t want to be dragged into a US conflict.
Is Donald the Orange serious about all this confrontation?
Or could it just be his idea of political jockeying?
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