Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return? At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States.
Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things. And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.
Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week. Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us. So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all. The following comes from the New York Times…
“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.
In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr. Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.
“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you till you are left speechless.”
Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on CNN?
And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.
Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China, but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that anger. Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is enough. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…
The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.
Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.
Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?
And there have also been other signs that China is about to do something drastic…
And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously enforcing the law.”
Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China. But according to the agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047…
After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”
So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions between our two nations will go up several more notches.
A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are so angry with us right now.
After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to implement “necessary countermeasures”…
China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”
“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea.
In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are going to hit us back hard.
[ZH: And if there was any further evidence required, the lack of intervention to stall a collapse in the yuan overnight shows China's willingness to escalate tensions via a currency war]
And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said similar things when she addressed reporters on Friday…
“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.
China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.
“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”
In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade war. The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to fight dirty.
A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the scenario that we have been anticipating. As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election. And to be honest, it is far more likely that our conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months ahead.
The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous amount of economic pain for the entire planet.
Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going to be just fine.