Trump appoints China hawk for trade policy as China demands cooperation

Trump signals plan to stand up directly to Communist China

(INTELLIHUB) — President-elect Donald Trump has picked noted China hawk Peter Navarro to run a new White House trade policy office.

The pick, already met with scorn by Communist officials, signals a hard line stance against China that Trump promised throughout his campaign.

Navarro is the author of multiple books exposing China including, “Death by China” which directly points to the Communist nation as America’s most dangerous adversary. This had led China to threaten Trump by claiming that “co-operation is the only correct choice.”

The Financial Times reported:

The appointment of Peter Navarro, a campaign adviser, to a formal White House post shocked Chinese officials and scholars who had hoped that Mr Trump would tone down his anti-Beijing rhetoric after assuming office.

[…]

“Chinese officials had hoped that, as a businessman, Trump would be open to negotiating deals,” said Zhu Ning, a finance professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “But they have been surprised by his decision to appoint such a hawk to a key post.”

Adding to rising tensions between the two countries, the US Office of the Trade Representative yesterday put Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, back on its “notorious markets” blacklist of companies accused of being involved in peddling fake goods.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said Beijing would monitor the policy positions of the incoming US administration. “As two major powers with broad mutual interests, co-operation is the only correct choice,” she said on Thursday.

Speaking hours before the appointment of Mr Navarro, which was first reported by the Financial Times, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi told the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist party’s flagship newspaper, that China and the US faced “new, complicated and uncertain factors affecting bilateral relations”. He said the world’s two largest economies must respect each other’s “core interests”.

Cui Fan at the China Society of WTO Studies, a think-tank affiliated with China’s commerce ministry, warned that Beijing would respond to any unilateral action by the incoming Trump administration. “China is preparing itself for US trade actions,” he said. “China will respond with counteractions of its own.”

China has been scrambling to assess Mr Trump’s stance since he took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen in early December, defying almost four decades of precedent. Under the “One China” policy, Washington has abstained from official interactions with the island, which Beijing regards as a “rogue province”.

With this appointment it has become strikingly clear that Trump’s rhetoric about China on the campaign trail was not simply election themed talk. America is finally taking a hardline on China and repercussions are sure to follow.

Alex Thomas is a reporter and editor for Intellihub News. He was a founding member of what later became Intellihub.com and an integral part of the team that destroyed the mainstream media blockade on Bilderberg in 2012. 
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