October 23, 2020
China was actually mentioned in the debates last night — fifty-five times, to be exact.
For a country in turmoil from a virus that originated from China, and further thrown into discord from disinformation campaigns from China, it sounds reasonable to ask both candidates for the next President of the United States what they plan to do about China.
Add to that, as we discussed yesterday, given that a communist country is on the doorstep of becoming the global economic superpower, dealing with China and fighting off China’s ambitions for world domination, is what this election is all about.
So, last night, we got this question: Would you make China pay for not being fully transparent in regards to the virus (i.e. sanctions)?
Sadly, we didn't get much of a response.
Biden said he would coordinate with allies and make China "play by the rules" (economically). Leveling the economic playing field (playing by the rules) has been the hallmark of Trump's two-plus year trade fight with China. Trump had nothing meaningful to say on the “what are you going to do about China” question. The moderator moved on.
We did, however, get this today …
As we’ve discussed, since Pompeo made his speech at the Nixon Library in July, where he called the Chinese Communist Party a threat to the future of the free world, he has been out alliance building. He has Japan on board. He has Australia on board. He has India on board. And he’s working on Vietnam and South Korea.
Who hasn’t been so eager to align with the U.S. against China? Europe.
Europe has a lot of economic interests with China, which include huge investments from China, into Europe, surrounding the 2011-2012 European sovereign debt crisis — which helped Europe stave off massive defaults, a collapse in the union and in the common currency.
So, this meeting U.S./EU meeting looks like a big step. Of course, in two weeks, Pompeo could be a lame-duck Secretary of State (in the midst of a major national security crisis), and we could have a lame-duck Treasury Secretary, in the middle of an economic crisis. That doesn't sound good.