Biden-Xi Conversation Highlights Trend of Tough US Stance Against CCP: Economist

In comments made on May 14, President Joe Biden recounted a recent conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The two discussed trade practices and Xi expressed concern regarding America’s treatment of China.

President Biden has reinstated former President Donald Trump’s policy of imposing tariffs on Chinese goods deemed unfairly traded. In the meantime, former President Trump has stated that he plans to escalate sanctions on China if reelected, underlining a renewed trend of tough U.S. action against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Experts believe that the United States’ tough stance against the CCP has become an irreversible trend.

President Biden said, “The Chinese rel[y] on other anticompetitive tactics as well, like forcing the American companies to transfer their technology in order to do business in China. Look, we’ll play by the same rules if you want. If you want to do business in China, you got to have a 51 percent Chinese owner, you got to provide access to all your intellectual property, et cetera. You want to do that in America?” Xi was left speechless.

President Biden also criticized the CCP’s use of cyber espionage to unfairly bolster its businesses, labeling it as “cheating” rather than fair competition. As a result, President Biden imposed tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese goods, encompassing various sectors including electric vehicles, steel, aluminum products, port cranes, solar cells, and certain medical products, starting this year. Additional tariffs on semiconductors are slated for 2025.

President Biden’s comments sparked the public’s curiosity, prompting speculation about Xi’s silence. Some suggest Xi may have been caught off guard or lacked sufficient information to respond.

On May 17, U.S.-based economist Li Hengqing told The Epoch Times that many of China’s promises after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) were not fulfilled, and instead, China exploited the international community. “Xi knows this well and couldn’t respond adequately,” Mr. Li said.

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During a White House press conference on May 14, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai clarified that the new tariffs on China were imposed at President Biden’s request. These tariffs were implemented following an investigation into the CCP’s trade practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. She emphasized that the tariffs aim to uphold fair competition and protect American workers’ interests, not to hinder China’s development.

Mr. Li highlighted the symbolic significance of the $18 billion tariffs, despite being modest compared to China’s overall exports to the United States, noting their potential to inspire similar actions from other allies. The European Union is anticipated to follow suit.

Trump’s Tariffs on China Continue Under Biden

While announcing the tariffs placed on China, President Biden reinstated the previous administration’s stance by maintaining tariffs on over $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Notably, President Biden imposed a 100 percent tariff on Chinese-made electric vehicles, a move endorsed by former President Trump, who remarked that it should have been implemented four years earlier.

Mr. Li commended President Trump as the first and most committed leader to confront the CCP’s unfair trade practices. President Biden’s continuation of Trump-era policies, in collaboration with multiple allies, underscores a concerted effort against the CCP’s economic maneuvers.

Since it acceded to the WTO, the CCP has disrupted international markets with subsidized goods, resulting in what economists term the “China shock.” Mr. Li outlined numerous issues in U.S.–China trade, including the CCP’s failure to honor trade agreements with the United States, fraudulent financial practices by Chinese-listed companies in the United States, the CCP’s involvement in data falsification, and intellectual property theft.

President Trump’s utilization of tariffs aimed to rectify longstanding unfair practices in U.S.–China economic relations.

Mr. Li emphasized key officials in the President Trump administration, notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who advocated for a robust stance against the CCP and played a pivotal role in shaping China policy. He emphasized verifying the CCP’s statements.

In July 2020, Mr. Pompeo delivered a speech titled “Communist China and the Free World’s Future” at the Nixon Presidential Library, stating, “If the free world doesn’t change … communist China will surely change us.” He quoted President Nixon, saying “‘The world cannot be safe until China changes.’ Now it’s up to us to heed his words.”

In March 2023, Mr. Pompeo told Voice of America that the CCP is a greater threat than the Nazis and that its leader is the most dangerous person in the world.

An Unchanging Future Trend

During his presidential campaign in 2020, President Biden sharply criticized President Trump’s trade policies against China. But upon taking office, he had to continue them and escalate the trade war.

Looking ahead to this year’s presidential election, anticipated clashes between candidates President Biden and President Trump will focus on the China tariffs.

President Trump has suggested that if reelected, he may impose stricter measures on China, including banning ownership of American assets and gradually restricting imports of key Chinese goods like electronics, steel, and pharmaceuticals.

In contrast, President Biden’s approach has involved imposing restrictions on semiconductor exports and targeting Chinese-made smart cars, with a focus on green energy projects and collaboration with allies against the CCP.

While both candidates seem willing to remain tough on the CCP, their post-election policies have not been finalized.

Mr. Li believes that U.S. policies toward the CCP will only become more stringent, citing strong public sentiment against the CCP, as evidenced by recent polls. A recent Pew Research poll shows 83 percent of Americans have a negative view of the CCP, with only 14 percent favorable. This strong public opinion cannot be ignored, especially with the upcoming elections for Congress and state governors and legislators.

U.S. politicians wavering on their stance against China risk electoral disadvantage, as support for the CCP has become increasingly frowned upon. Mr. Li asserts that “This is the main trend, and nothing can change it.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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