In his campaign speeches, Donald Trump blamed China for stealing American jobs, breaking the rules, currency manipulation, and espionage. Donald Trump said Tuesday (9/8/15) that China’s devaluation of the yuan would be “devastating” for the United States. “They keep devaluing their currency until they get it right. They’re doing a big cut in the yuan, and that’s going to be devastating for us.”
“When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China, in a trade deal?” He answered his own question suggesting that if he was President things would be different. “I beat China all the time,” he said while adding that he admires China. “I love China. People say, ‘Oh, you don’t like China.’ No, I love them, but their leaders are much smarter than our leaders. And we can’t sustain ourselves with that.”
Is Trump correct?
- There is a huge trade imbalance between the U.S. and China. As reported in Fortune, the U.S. bilateral trade deficit is breaking records.
- Keith Alexander, who as the National Security Agency director in 2012 referred to the Chinese lifting of American intellectual property as “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.” That judgment was affirmed a year later by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, co-chaired by Dennis Blair, the former Director of National Intelligence, and Jon Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China.
- The U.S .has suffered some serious setbacks of late, not the least of which is Beijing’s successful membership drive for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The bank’s very existence represents something of an economic coup in that it, along with the BRICS bank (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is a response to the perceived inadequacies of the US-dominated multilateral institutions that have dominated the post-war world. The more immediate and palpable “loss” came courtesy of The White House’s failed attempt to dissuade Washington’s allies from joining the bank.
The Chinese have begun taking notice. While most Chinese people still seem to be unaware of who Trump is, a growing number of people in the Chinese media and on social media are discussing this political figure.
- As reported in the Washington Post, the Chinese are centered on Trump’s real estate empire, his wealth, his controversial commentaries, and, of course, his hair, the fascination with which appears to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. “This guy’s hair’s so strange. I thought it was Photoshopped at first,” one Chinese social media user wrote.
- Naturally, the Chinese are focused on Trump’s commentary about China.
- The Chinese foreign ministry defended against Trump’s allegations that China is “ripping” the U.S. after Trump vowed to retake millions of jobs that China had stolen.
- Much of the reporting in the Chinese media has focused on explaining why America is entertaining Trump’s presidential aspirations.
- Other articles focus on the reasons Trump might be running for president, besides a desire to win. Some have commented that his campaign is just an effort to get more publicity before going back to being a business tycoon.
- Yicai.com, the Web site of China Business Network, a financial media group, ran an article that said: “One of the purposes of running for president is to promote oneself, to become more famous, like Trump. … The nationwide exposure he gained is hard to measure in monetary terms.”
- “This dude does not seem to have a high educational level,” says one social media user. He apparently never looked at Trump’s resume, his successes, as well at earning a MBA at one of the world’s most prestigious business schools.
“Everyone has the right to air his or her personal opinion, but it is the policies towards China adopted by the U.S. government and the mainstream opinion of the U.S. people that we value more,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.