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The slogan “USA first” earned Trump the triumph, but in exchange the country could cost him his place as superpower. The days of Washington in the first place are numbered, opines Miodrag Soric.
During his election campaign, US President Donald Trump’s complaints about China were strong and clear. Trump went on to claim that China had been “swindling” the United States for years and that it had been stealing its intellectual property. Trump also accused China of artificially devaluing its currency to flood the US market with cheap Chinese products, endangering US jobs. Thus, with these strong criticisms, the then Republican presidential candidate promised a radical change of course; He promised to impose import tariffs as a means to put pressure on China and put US interests first.
Today, after a year sitting in the White House, Trump has not implemented any of his grand plans. In fact, he is doing the opposite of what he promised. On his trip to China, during the current tour of several Asian countries, he praised the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, who, in turn, quietly endured Trump’s complacent behavior while smiling from time to time for the media. What caused the change of opinion of Trump?
It seems that the president of the United States has had a hard encounter with reality. And is that China’s economy has been booming for decades. The Asian country’s share in world exports has reached 14 percent and continues to rise, while the United States has only reached 10 percent. Americans live on credit and will depend on loans from China in the future. For years, Beijing has been investing its export surplus in US bonds and has become the country’s largest creditor – excluding the US Federal Reserve. If Beijing wanted it, it could cut off the money supply and plunge the US economy into crisis.
Of course, the Chinese would not do such a thing, since they would hurt themselves. However, being in this position of power certainly increases the ego of the Asian country. Every time the United States and China sit at a negotiating table, China will have the advantage over its debtor. Such seems to be the confidence of the Chinese that, apparently, the ambassador of China in the United States has an ego so inflated that it almost levitates.
Today, most economic experts agree that it is only a matter of time before China overtakes the United States as the nation with the strongest economy in the world. What sets the wind in favor of President Xi. Thus, given the advantage, any threat made by the strong man in the White House seems to slip the Chinese leader.
With respect to North Korea, President Xi does not let himself be pressured either. And is that Beijing does not want a “regime change” in Pyongyang. Why should China help expand US influence in East Asia?
Xi also does not want a war to break out in this region of the world, since it would go against his own economic interests. Thus, Beijing warned the United States to reduce its threats against North Korea and seek a diplomatic solution, which earned him praise from the European Union and Russia.
Withdrawal from TTP, a bad strategy
China’s rise to the top has been reinforced by the many bad decisions of Donald Trump, the main one being the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (TPP). This agreement was designed as a way to contain the Chinese quest for world supremacy. With the help of the United States, countries like Vietnam or Japan wanted to set standards for production, trade, security and environmental protection. So China should have had to adapt to the requirements. But Trump demonized the TPP during his election campaign and, once in office, eliminated the United States’ participation in the agreement. The Asian partners of the United States now have serious doubts about the reliability of Washington. Situation that pleases China.
The resurgence of Beijing as a global power – something that began several decades ago – seems to continue for a while. Mao Zedong united the Chinese provinces that once fought each other. Deng Xiaoping then started an economic boom. And now, Xi intends to strengthen China’s foreign and security policies so that international political decisions take into account the interests of the Asian country.
Trump will not be able to avoid the rise of China. Everything seems to indicate that the days of Washington as the first world power are numbered.