As you know, Donald Trump is keeping the promise made during the electoral campaign that led him to victory, to carry out the so-called decoupling . This is the "decoupling" between the economies of his country and that of the People's Republic of China, which are much more interconnected than Americans themselves usually admit.
Many US companies, especially in the hi-tech sector, have relocated important parts of their activities to China in recent decades to take advantage of much lower labor costs. The example of Apple applies to everyone. The consequence has been a growing dependence on components manufactured in China under US license (for example as regards personal computers and martphones ).
To this must be added a further American dependence in the so-called “rare earths” sector, that is the essential minerals in the hi-tech sector itself, for the production of smartphones and sophisticated weapons. The People's Republic is the world's largest exporter of rare earths, and Beijing has repeatedly overshadowed the block on exports to the US.
Moreover, the tariff policy has indeed damaged the People's Republic, but at the same time also the USA, causing heavy economic repercussions in both countries. Attempts have been made several times to sign an agreement to set trade relations between the two nations on a more just basis, but without success.
However, Trump must also take into account the change of scenery brought about by the virus from Wuhan, and it is a serious problem and not easy to solve. The pandemic has in fact increased anti-Chinese tendencies in the United States. Moreover, it is growing, again due to the virus, also in European countries (with the exception of Italy, where our foreign minister continues to push to strengthen relations with Beijing).
The scenario is also complicated by the fact that the pandemic is causing endless economic woes in the United States as well as in the People's Republic. We know practically everything about what is happening in the US in this regard. Record unemployment, even if already falling, with a possible social crisis.
As always, we know much less about what is happening in China, even if the warning signs are numerous. There is a slowdown in the Dragon economy, and strong too. Domestic demand is falling, and the slowdown in global trade will weigh above all on the People's Republic, the world's largest exporter.
When China was admitted to the WTO in 2001 under the auspices of Democratic President Bill Clinton, the hope was that the Asian giant would usher in a process of transition to liberal democracy. Obviously this has not happened and the People's Republic has remained a fully-fledged communist nation, since the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping have by no means loosened the pervasive control that the Communist Party exercises over the economy and the entire society.
Now it seems that, finally, even the European Union has realized that the decoupling problem exists and needs to be solved in some way. EU relations with China have deteriorated rapidly in recent times. Angela Merkel and Ursula Von der Leyen are trying to set the economic relations between the EU and China in more equitable terms, even if it is doubtful that they will succeed.
The Chinese are asked to allow European companies a better and more guaranteed access to their market, similar to that enjoyed by Chinese companies in the EU. But Xi Jinping and his leadership team seem unwilling to make any concessions. Beijing does not want to talk about the transparency of state aid and rules on technology transfer. And not surprisingly, given that the incredible disparity of relations is precisely the element that has allowed the People's Republic to achieve far-reaching successes.
Europeans use language much less harsh than Trump's, yet moving Beijing out of its privileged positions appears prohibitive. Hence the adoption by the EU of defensive rules such as anti- dumping duties, greater attention to foreign investments in strategic sectors and – last but not least – the adoption of security measures regarding 5G networks. American pressure obviously influenced this considerable shift, but it is also reasonable to think that the Europeans have finally understood that, if we continue like this, the Chinese danger is destined to grow.
It is also worth noting that, for the first time in a clear way, even the EU has forcefully placed the question of Hong Kong on the table, where the new national security law imposed by Beijing is leading to the repression of even the slightest sign of dissent. . This is by no means an "internal question" of the People's Republic, as our foreign minister Di Maio said, but a problem that concerns the entire international community. And also the great project of the "New Silk Road", hastily signed by the Italian government, appears more and more for what it really is: a hegemonic plan aimed at conquering the West. On balance, Donald Trump was right to point out the Chinese danger and to implement strategies to prevent it. The current US president must therefore be acknowledged for having a better vision of foreign policy than that of his predecessors, and I am referring in particular to the much praised – by Europeans – Barack Obama.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL http://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/con-o-senza-strepiti-sul-decoupling-con-la-cina-ha-ragione-trump-e-ci-stanno-arrivando-forse-anche-gli-europei/ on Mon, 14 Sep 2020 04:37:00 +0000.