It’s September of 2018 and a few days ago Donald Trump imposed tariffs on numerous goods imported from China. I believe his reasoning is that he is trying to work out a trade agreement that he sees as being more fair. As I understand it he warned that China had “better not” retaliate.
I’m thinking that Donald is failing to understand a couple of important aspects of China.
a) One of these is the importance to the Chinese of respect and the concept of saving face. They’re not going to be bullied into anything and they’re not going to be shamed by a “better not” kind of statement. “Better not” is the kind of thing one says to a child, and China is not going to be anyone’s child.
b) China is not a democracy. The power of the General Secretary in China is established by the Constitution of China, and that Constitution specifies that China is ruled by the Communist Party of China. That gives them all the say, and they’re not looking around every 4 years for re-election. That’s how things like the Tienamen Square Massacre took place. The students of China had started protesting, and for a time were allowed to, and eventually the rulers of China sent in the military and killed many of them.
With this in mind, I say that in the event that the United States foreign policy becomes one of having a trade war with China, the Government of China is I think quite prepared to keep up that battle until it’s people starve in the street before they’ll be willing to come to a table they’ve been forced to. I do not however believe that the President of the United States is prepared or able to take matters to that limit. I certainly don’t think that the american public is willing to support a stand that drags things to that point. Heck, they’re all shopping at Walmart because it’s a bargain. With a trade war Walmart won’t have near the bargains.