US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka received approval from the Chinese government for her trademark applications this month. But US media immediately connected this to Donald Trump’s U-turn on Chinese telecom company ZTE.
In addition, 60 lawmakers wrote a letter Sunday demanding an investigation into the alleged connections between Chinese investments in a Trump organisation project in Indonesia and the president’s decision to allow ZTE to recover its business.
Apparently those who dislike Mr Trump are finding fault with him. These accusations may exert little effect on Mr Trump, but have jeopardised China’s reputation. ZTE is the direct victim. The firm may have to see more twists and turns before being allowed to import parts from the US.
Ivanka Trump’s trademark application, Washington’s lifting of sanctions on ZTE and Chinese investment in a theme park in Indonesia are all entirely unrelated. The US is so imaginative to connect these separate issues together.
China often suffers losses interacting with the US. For China, it’s nearly impossible to guard against all the traps the US sets. The deals China has reached with the US government may be wrecked by other US forces. In many cases, the country behaves like a hoodlum under the name of democracy.
Washington decided to sanction ZTE amid disputes over the firm’s handling of bonuses for its 35 employees. All observers believe that the ZTE is a bargaining chip in the trade war. More precisely, the company is a hostage to the US.
Now that China and the US have agreed on a framework for stopping their trade war, it is reasonable for Washington to release the hostage, ZTE. Putting the trade war on hold has gained widespread popularity in China. But things are much more complicated in the US. While US industries welcome the move, there are many voices against it among US political circles and media.
The Sino-US relationship is mutually beneficial. It is hard for Beijing to live without Washington and vice-versa. The US is witnessing an internal divide over its trade ties with China. This is no more than a game of US politicians. Washington will not break up with Beijing, nor will it reduce its scale of exchange and trade volume with China, because doing so would not be good for the US. All the nitpicking and the tough stance against Beijing are aimed at making China surrender more of its profits to Washington.
But China can never satisfy the US. Once Beijing meets one requirement from the White House, the latter will make five more demands. If China refused to grant approval to Ms Ivanka’s trademarks, the US would say Beijing is putting pressure on the White House. But now it has approved them, the US says China is trading for benefits. Whatever China does, it will be blamed.
This all stems from the fact that Mr Trump, who owns a huge personal fortune, was elected US president. It is to be hoped that the US could separate its president’s duties and his personal interests, so as not to make other nations a scapegoat for the US’ own affairs.