With growing concern over the possibility of a trade war between China and the United States, Marty Hart-Landsberg takes a look at the issues at stake.
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss China’s growing influence in Asia on October 25.
Tillerson recently gave a speech regarding the US’s desire to "dramatically deepen" ties with India to combat what he described as a negative Chinese influence in the region.
US President Donald Trump made the unprecedented threat to “totally destroy” North Korea, not in a tweet or off the cuff remark, but in a written speech before the United Nations General Assembly on September 20. No other leader of a country has ever stood before the UN and openly stated its intention to destroy another country.
Coupled with Trump’s earlier threat to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea, this threat must be seen as one that at least includes the possibility of a nuclear attack.
The threat by US President Donald Trump to unleash nuclear war against North Korea is not a Trumpian “excess”.
That has been made clear by his Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General James Mattis, who backed Trump. The administration is demanding that North Korea freeze its nuclear program, including the testing of missiles.
Many commentators in the US and elsewhere have poured cold water on the idea there could be a short term war between the US and North Korea.
The Guardian said on August 9: “But despite two unpredictable nuclear-armed leaders trading barbs, most observers believe the possibility of conflict remains remote, with the North Korean leadership using its nuclear program as a bargaining chip rather than an offensive weapon.”
US exports to China totalled US$116 billion last year, while its imports reached $463 billion. The $347 billion deficit accounts for almost 70% of the US’s total trade deficit.
US President Donald Trump’s most influential senior advisers, Peter Navarro, who heads the National Trade Council, and US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross, call China “the biggest trade cheater in the world”.
A new influenza pandemic is quite possible, according to a study by researchers at the University of NSW’s School of Public Health. The study notes that 19 different influenza strains have affected humans in the last 100 years, but the speed with which new strains have emerged has increased over the past 15 years. There have been seven new strains in the past five years alone.
Less than three months into President Donald Trump’s reign we can already say that there is a non-trivial chance that the United States will soon be engaged in a nuclear war.
The threat is still remote, but the pieces are in place. An aircraft carrier group is en route to the Korean peninsula and anonymous sources have threatened a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
During last year’s presidential election campaign, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump favoured a more militarised foreign policy. They differed on the main target: Clinton aimed at Russia, while Trump singled out China.
Clinton wanted to continue the policy of both Republican and Democratic administrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union of steadily expanding NATO up to Russia’s borders in Europe. She also proposed challenging Russia in Syria.
The disarray among politicians of both major parties on display in last year’s election campaign has intensified in the first two months of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Charges and counter-charges are hurled between the Democrats and the Trump administration, prompting Congressional investigations that may bring in the FBI, CIA and other spy agencies.