03:27 GMT25 October 2020
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    Dr Ching Chang, Research Fellow, Society for Strategic Studies, the Republic of China, based in Taipei. Dr Chang is the leading security expert specifically on military affairs and international relations in Taiwan.

    Sputnik: US President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were "back on track" after "excellent" talks on Saturday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in which Washington agreed to hold off on new tariffs. In your opinion, has the US-China trade war passed its crisis and embarked on the path of resolution, or is it just a temporary solution?

    Dr Ching Chang: It is obviously a temporary ceasefire in order to resume the next round negotiation. Whether the US-China trade dispute may reach any result that totally favours any single side is totally impossible. Both sides need to be back off for reaching the final resolution. A compromise on a partial agreement of all the issues ever discussed seems the most likely settlement in near term.

    As for the restructuring results of the Chinese economic practices expected President Trump is completely unrealistic. We should remember that many US enterprises have parallel interests with their Chinese counterparts but not the US government. The outcome of the sideline meeting is apparently influenced by those enterprises, which are the essential elements for the next US presidential election that Mr Trump cannot afford to lose them. Yes, it is just a temporary solution but however a better situation many people wish to see for the moment.

    Sputnik: Follow up - "At least for the time being”, added President Trump. If Trump does not intend to stop a trade war in the long term, why does he need this temporary enlightenment?

    Dr Ching Chang: Mr Trump cares about the political calendar more than the substantial results acquired from the trade negotiations. In many cases, he needs certain outcomes to serve the US political agenda. He needs to have some results from the rivalry process with Beijing. If it remains inconclusive for the long run, it will be a debt or negative factor for the coming presidential election year.

    On the other hand, Mr Trump needs time to reorganize his strategy toward China by recalculating all the factors economically, militarily and politically. Why a compromise can be reached by two sides? It simply that both sides need a ceasefire at the moment. Beijing needs time to restructure its economic system but might be necessarily toward the orientation expected by Washington by only serving the Chinese interests. As such, a ceasefire is fundamentally to acquire more time for preparation of the next campaign.

    Sputnik: What is the likelihood that the previous package of sanctions will gradually be removed by both sides? What can contribute to this?

    Dr Ching Chang: The likelihood for removing the previous packages of sanction or increments of tariffs is pretty low. Many subjective perspectives held by the US side cannot be so easily removed. On the other hand, there are many emotional factors driven by the nationalism on the Chinese side to force Beijing keeps a low profile but firm position on all terms demanded by the US negotiators. Unless some other crisis such as another 911-like incident could happen that distracting and forcing Mr Trump to leave his present agenda, otherwise, the stalemate may still stay for quite a long time.

    Sputnik: In your opinion, how likely we will see suspension in the investigation and tariffs of the Huawei telecommunications company?

    Dr Ching Chang: There are many factors associated with Huawei case.we should never be over-optimistic about the final settlement of this case can be easily acquired. Particularly, as long as the leading edge owned by the Huawei on the 5G communication technology cannot be matched by the US competitors, Trump government will adopt whatsoever it takes to drag Huawei down.

    All the investigations and accusations are the schemes to serve the commercial and technology competitions. I can expect that the Huawei case may be the last issue can be solved in the long list of the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington. We can expect that many other measures will be adopted in the future to strike on Huawei simply because the company resistance capabilities are far beyond the original US assessment.

    Sputnik: It is reported that China intends to expand its import of agricultural products from the United States. How do you think, why did the Chinese president make such a decision and how will this affect the economic cooperation between the two countries?

    Dr Ching Chang: The only reason for this agricultural procurement is the Chinese people need those merchandise. The nature of trade is mutually cooperative, not struggling or fighting. The trade war is somehow a strange concept to many people. Particularly, the US claims that itself practices capitalism and market economy but what we have seen now are those political interferences originated from political demands and subjective expectations against the rules of free market from Washington to other nations all over the world.

    Mr Trump acted fundamentally against the idea of free market that a capitalist regime should follow. Ironically, Mr Xi has restated that China will remain open to the other world as China acted after 1979 open and reform era. The question that we should consider now is “who is actually supporting the global interests or the idea of globalization eventually?”

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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