On Monday, Donald Trump finally shed some light on how he plans to make America’s economy great again in a speech in Detroit. One essential part of Trump’s master plan — China-bashing.
The Republican presidential nominee says that he plans to hinder Chinese exports to the US and renegotiate global trading rules. The candidate even threatened an eventual “trade war” against China.
Yet again, Trump claimed that the demise of the American economy was in part due to “shady” trading practices employed by the Middle Kingdom. In his speech, The Donald accused China of illegally subsidizing exports, manipulating its currency and stealing intellectual property. China “breaks the rules in every way imaginable,” Donald says and “is responsible for nearly half of our entire trade deficit.”
Beijing is used to ritualistic “China bashing” whenever the American election season rolls around. No matter how fiery the rhetoric, once a candidate gets into office, it goes back to business as usual with the world’s second largest economy and America’s largest trading partner. That is the view espoused by Trump’s many Chinese supporters, who explain away the outspoken candidate’s many attacks on China as him simply playing to his base for support.
However, this election season is a bit different. Trump’s over-the-top rhetoric has prompted responses from Beijing and in March the Global Times even published an editorial portraying the candidate as everything that is wrong with democracy. It seems that with this latest economic speech, Trump has gone too far again and Xinhua has published a lengthy takedown of the candidate, starting with his rhetoric:
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday played the China-bashing card once again in his latest attempt to rectify his falling popularity. The inflammatory rhetoric, however, is dangerous and damaging and offers nothing substantive in way of improving relations with China.
Moving on to his politics and intentions:
By scapegoating China and global free trade for lackluster economic performance, Trump and his team betrayed the Republicans’ traditional endorsement of unrestricted trade. In a freakish coincidence, Trump shared a similar view with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that Washington shall pursue myopic and poisonous protectionism and “stand up to China” to make up for lost ground.
For years, China-bashing has always been an easy card for U.S. political candidates to play and cover up the country’ s fundamental structural drawbacks. After all, settling these problems needs more painstaking reforms that none of the two parties would dare propose at the risk of electoral defeat.
His own business background:
Fiery rhetoric has become Trump’s card ever since the start of this election race. But even the billionaire himself could not see his own business thrive without decades of ties to China.
And their hope for the future:
Hopefully, the threat of launching a trade war with China by the current presidential candidates is merely tough talk. China-bashing is a recurring theme every four years, and by now it’s become quite dull. Let’s hope the next time around that future presidential possibles have something more substantial to say about America’s relationship with China. U.S. voters deserve better.
And to think, it was barely over a year ago that the Trump descended down an escalator to proclaim his “love” for China.
Watch Trump’s speech below:
And check out these fact checks done by USA Today, NPR, The New York Times and the Associated Press.
By Robin Winship