Financial Times: “Concerns are building in both Taipei and in the U.S. — the unofficial guarantor of the island’s security — that China could be moving closer to launching the attack which it has been threatening for 70 years.”
Nikkea Asian Review: “With a ‘phase one’ trade deal due to be signed on Jan. 15, the Trump administration has signaled a tentative and limited rapprochement in its trade war with China, which saw high tariffs placed on Chinese imports and bans on the export of technology products. However, despite those punitive measures and the aggressive messaging coming out of the White House, many of the states and counties that came out for Trump in 2016 have spent the past few years gorging on Chinese money.”
“Their reliance on investment from China only serves to underline how deeply intertwined the world’s two largest economies are, and how the president’s desire to unwind decades of trade imbalances could put him at odds with his own base as he seeks reelection this November.”
“China wants further talks as soon as the end of October to hammer out the details of the ‘phase one’ trade deal touted by Donald Trump before Xi Jinping agrees to sign it,” Bloomberg reports.
“Beijing may send a delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top negotiator, to finalize a written deal that could be signed by the presidents at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month in Chile, one of the people said. Another person said China wants Trump to also scrap a planned tariff hike in December in addition to the hike scheduled for this week, something the administration hasn’t yet endorsed.”
“In return for a series of modest concessions, most of which had been offered by President Xi Jinping’s administration in previous negotiating rounds, Donald Trump agreed to suspend another set of tariff increases originally scheduled to take effect on October 15,” the Financial Times reports.
“The two sides are still a long way from a final settlement that addresses much more contentious issues, such as Chinese government support for strategic industries and state-owned enterprises, which Mr Trump had hoped to reach before his 2020 re-election campaign kicks off in earnest. Chinese negotiators, however, believe that time is on their side and they can continue to stonewall Mr Trump and his lead negotiator, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, on any ‘systemic’ reforms that they fear would weaken the Chinese Communist party’s grip over the world’s second-largest economy.”
President Trump said he planned to meet with the head of the Chinese negotiating team for the U.S.-China trade talks, Chinese vice premier Liu He on Friday, when talks are scheduled to conclude, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Said Trump: “Big day of negotiations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I?”
“China has rejected President Trump’s call to investigate his Democrat rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son, saying Beijing had no intention of intervening in U.S. domestic affairs,” the South China Morning Post reports.
Said a foreign ministry spokesman: “China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Global Times that China “will not interfere in the internal affairs of the U.S.,” after President Trump urged Beijing to probe his political rival Joe Biden amid an impeachment inquiry in Washington.
Said Wang: “We trust that the American people will be able to sort out their own problems.”
“During a private phone call in June, President Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued,” CNN reports.
“The remarkable pledge to the Chinese leader is a dramatic departure from decades of US support for human rights in China and shows just how eager Trump is to strike a deal with Beijing as the trade war weighs on the US economy.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports Hong Kong’s embattled leader “invoked emergency powers to ban face masks, deploying a rarely used law that could inflame tensions and erode confidence in a city that depends heavily on international business and tourism.”
President Trump congratulated the authoritarian regime in China on the 70th anniversary of communist rule.
Washington Post: “China said Thursday its trade representatives will fly to Washington in early October to resume negotiations with the United States, raising the possibility that both sides might arrest a recent deterioration in the bilateral relationship that has cast a shadow over the world economy.”
Associated Press: “The communications on China from Trump and his administration since late last week — erratic, sometimes contradictory — are complicating their high-stakes talks with Beijing and elevating the risks to the fragile global economy.”
“The messaging has been confusing not just for Chinese officials as they formulate a response to whatever stance the administration is taking. It’s also a problem for American businesses.”
“The shifting positions and threats could eventually weaken the U.S. and world economies by leaving businesses paralyzed by uncertainty over whether and where to situate factories, buy supplies and sell products.”
Jonathan Chait: “President Trump is in the midst of a public meltdown that is humiliating, scary, and banana republic–y even by Trumpy standards. The reason is that Trump started a trade war and China refuses to back down, having announced this morning that it is imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.”
“Trump has picked fights with lots of countries. Usually they either placate him or try to give him a face-saving way of de-escalating (e.g., Mexico, which is never going to pay for the wall but doesn’t talk about the fact that it’s never going to pay for the wall anymore). Sometimes they get Trump to fold by stroking his ego (the North Koreans have carried out the most over-the-top version of this tactic).”
“China is playing it differently.”
“China announced that it will impose additional tariffs on a total of $75 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for President Trump’s latest planned levies on Chinese imports,” Bloomberg reports.
“Some of the countermeasures will take effect starting Sept. 1, while the rest will come into effect from Dec. 15, according to the announcement from the Ministry of Commerce. This mirrors the timetable the U.S. has laid out for 10% tariffs on nearly $300 billion of Chinese shipments.”
“Twitter and Facebook have suspended numerous accounts that they say are tied to a Chinese disinformation campaign against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong,” CNBC reports.
Twitter said the disinformation campaign was designed to “sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political protest movement on the ground.”
“The Trump administration has informally greenlit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new F-16 fighter jets,” CNN reports.
“The decision comes amid heightened tensions with China as a trade war wages on and a crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong draws US criticism. The new weaponry — the largest US sale to Taiwan in several years — could further erode ties, since Beijing views the self-governing island as part of China.”
Wall Street Journal: “The volley-for-volley trade war between China and the U.S. is accelerating at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping can ill afford to make concessions, raising the likelihood of a protracted struggle between the world’s two biggest economies.”
“Mr. Xi is ordering a celebratory run-up to the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic in October, an event that Communist Party watchers and media say will showcase him as a strong leader of a powerful nation. With his government struggling to rejuvenate a sluggish economy and quell antigovernment protests in Hong Kong, Mr. Xi has little leeway to take steps that would undercut his strongman image.”
Los Angeles Times: “The potential loser in this international game of chicken is the U.S. economy. Both long term and short term, the White House is playing with fire — and it could end up burning Trump’s reelection bid.”
“China confirmed reports that it was pulling out of U.S. agriculture as a weapon in the ongoing trade war,” CNBC reports.
“A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies have stopped purchasing U.S. agricultural products in response to President Trump’s new 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.”