How the battle lines in the trade war are currently becoming harder
As we know the G20 summit will take place in Osaka at the end of June – but it is still unclear whether there will be a meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping. The possibility of a deal being reached has now been ruled out.
On the contrary the battle lines seem to be hardening further. This was shown by statements made by Donald Trump last night US time – it is he himself who is not currently seeking a deal:
“China wants to make a deal very badly. It is me right now that is holding up the deal. And we’re going to either do a great deal with China or we’re not going to do a deal. We had a deal with China and then they went back on the deal.They said we don’t want to have four major points, five major points.”
Which five points Trump means here remains unclear – but Trump seems to demand approval for these five points as a condition for a deal. Otherwise he would have no interest:
“We had a deal with China and unless they go back to that deal, I have no interest.”
Insiders report that there are currently no concrete talks or negotiations behind the scenes between the two parties. From Beijing’s point of view a meeting with Trump and Xi Jinping without sufficient preparation by “sherpas” would be a great risk for the Chinese head of state – Trumps’ well-known spontaneous nature should easily upset China’s head of state. Should there be no concrete talks and preparations in the next few days, Beijing would probably prefer to avoid a personal meeting between Xi and Trump.
Meanwhile, Beijing is accusing the US of attempting hegeomony, as Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, who is now well known in the West, puts it:
In the Global Times, an article referring to data from the Chinese Cyber Security Agency states that most cyber attacks on Chinese computers are originated in the US. The quintessence of the article is that the illusion that the US is a rational and responsible hegemon must be abandoned:
„We should do away with assumptions that the US is a fair, rational and responsible hegemonic power. It never was, and that is an illusion it has tried to create“.
The events in Hong Kong aggravate the situation – the USA expressed concerns that the status of Hong Kong would be endangered. In turn China refused to interfere in the “internal affairs” of the country.
In an interview with the US financial channel CNBC on Monday, Trump threatened to raise tariffs against China if Xi Jinping did not appear at the G20 summit – a strange statement inasmuch as Xi’s appearance was never actually questioned (perhaps Beijing had evaded American requests for a meeting of heads of state that it was not yet certain that Xi would actually attend the summit):