U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Even if you hate Donald Trump, you have to admire his willingness to take on the Chinese. Name another U.S. administration that constantly would tell them to do X or you are gonna get Z.
The latest case in point:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Sunday that the United States has asked China and some of our European allies to stop buying any oil from Iran to cut off any trickle of income to the regime in control there. If they don’t, then they will get hit by the sanctions hammer.
From Fox News…
“We’ve cut off probably over 95% of the oil revenues, so there’s a very small amount of oil revenues, and you’re right, a component of that, a big component of that is China,” Mnuchin said. “I sat down with the Chinese officials. They flew in a delegation to meet with us and the State Department to talk about this. They’ve cut off all of the state companies from buying oil, and we’re working closely with them to make sure that they cease all additional oil activities.”
This carrot and stick approach that Trump is using is most impressive, yet it is the most confusing thing to those of his detractors who would have loved any other President to stand up to China. Telling China to stop purchasing oil from Iran while also in negotiations on huge trade deals in the U.S. that could affect our economy is a big gamble.
Doing it in an election year is pretty brave/crazy depending on where you fall on the I love/hate POTUS #45 scale.
After years of tough talk with China, we are now seeing it in action. We won’t be able to tell how everything shakes out until all is settled — possibly years from now — but it is interesting to see as we move through it at the moment.