On Saturday, the highly-anticipated meeting between President Trump and President Xi of China took place at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
The leaders of the world’s two largest economies were unable to reach an agreement to prevent an escalating trade- war. However, they did ultimately declare a cease-fire.
Both leaders agreed to refrain from placing additional tariffs, and President Trump said he would allow American companies to conduct business with controversial Chinese Company Huawei.
CNBC reported that “on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the two leaders held a highly anticipated meeting, which Chinese media outlets reported ultimately took about 80 minutes. Both sides confirmed in separate comments that they did not plan to levy any new tariffs against each other’s products at the present time. For one, Chinese state-run press agency Xinhua described the meeting result as the presidents agreeing to restart trade consultations between their countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”
Speaking after the bilateral meeting, Trump said it had gone as well as it could have, and that negotiations with China would continue. “We are right back on track,” the president said.
President Trump understands that China is arguably the biggest foreign threat to the United States, and he has recognized this for years. The tariffs he has placed on China are meant to bring them back to the table and to stop them from stealing our intellectual property and breaking trade agreements.
China is stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need a trade deal for the good of their economy and may be forced to make concessions to get this done.
China needs the United States market to export their products. Unlike China, the United States has a consumer-based service economy. China is a manufacturing- and trade-focused economy.
However, in the long-run, China may turn into a more consumer-based economy, and that will present problems for the US.
China is in this for the long game. They have become increasingly aggressive in making global moves. They are building a presence on islands in the South Pacific, they are gaining footholds on multiple continents—including Africa—and they are increasing the size of their military as well as producing more weapons and warships.
President Xi can be president of China for the rest of his life if he so chooses. The Communist party ended term limits for the Chinese president.
Unfortunately, President Xi will be a thorn in the side of the US for many years to come, and Donald Trump will be out of office in either two or six years, depending on the 2020 election.
Hopefully future presidents will be as firm with the Chinese. Our national security depends on it.