"ELECTORAL AMERICA" OR UNCLE TRUMP'S MYTHS ABOUT US RELATIONS WITH CHINA

"ELECTORAL AMERICA" OR UNCLE TRUMP'S MYTHS ABOUT US RELATIONS WITH CHINA 18.05.2020

The closer the calendar approaches November, the more aggressive and aggressive the US President becomes.Trump in his statements. Content analysis of his speeches, Twitter posts and short comments in the media shows an interesting situation.

1) The lack of any clear media strategy and conceptual line in the PR work of the Trump team (the question arises-is Trump himself conducting his ambiguous information campaign or does he simply not have a competent team?). If his goal is simply to attract attention to himself, then he has achieved it, but it will be difficult to achieve political goals on such an ill-conceived wave.

2) Emotionality, inconsistency and lack of business and political logic in the statements of the American leader: sometimes Trump speaks very confidently about the superiority of his country over others, then he sees a serious threat from China and is looking for an excuse to limit its development (and what is there to be afraid of if you are already the greatest?).

US relations with China continue to develop further. And they become even more interesting.
On May 14, 2020, on the Fox Business channel, US President Donald Trump threatened to completely break off US relations with China. In particular, the American leader said that "We can do a lot. We can end all relationships altogether. And what would have happened then? We would have saved $ 500 billion."

He also added that this amount, which corresponds to the volume of Chinese exports to the United States, in his opinion, is "lost money". (https://www.vedomosti.ru/…/n…/2020/05/14/830256-tramp-kitaem)

This is a very interesting statement, especially when you consider that hundreds of American corporations have their production facilities in China, and in fact, "Made in China" goods dominate in all stores in all corners of the United States. And the American consumer, a very prudent, spoiled and intelligent consumer, understands the importance of US-Chinese relations, because they significantly save his expenses (if these same goods were produced in the United States, their cost would be much more expensive and inaccessible to many ordinary Americans). And in a capitalist society, every dollar counts.

In this regard, such a sharp statement by D. Trump, most likely, corporations are now studying under a magnifying glass and discussing with lawyers and marketers all the risks of such an outburst by their president. The most interesting thing is that there are no serious calculations, studies and action plans behind these statements. I would like to hear the opinion of large American corporations, whose business is closely connected with the PRC, on this issue. We are waiting for statements from The US-China Business Council (The US-China Business Council) (https://www.uschina.org/)

Influential periodicals, in particular, The Wallstreet Journal, which directly reflect the opinions in the US business community, actively publish articles that clearly state that deepening contradictions with the PRC would be a mistake of American policy (https://www.wsj.com/.../dont-start-a-new-cold-war-with-china-...). This is a direct signal to the White House.

In such a situation, it remains unclear whether Trump himself understands that he is unlikely to win the November elections and simply seeks to make tough, shocking statements to preserve his name in history (and it really will remain and the Trump phenomenon will be studied in public administration schools around the world for a long time). Or Trump simply does not know what to do and acts hysterically on emotions. Attempts to blame a foreign state for all their failures are not the most effective electoral campaign (especially when this state is an important trading partner and the largest creditor with a portfolio of US government bonds worth almost $1 trillion).

In the United States, people have a high level of education, very strong media and active "think tanks" – in such an information environment, it is difficult to hide their own mistakes (especially against the background of a pandemic and more than 1.5 million cases) and use the tactics of an "external threat" to mobilize their population (shift all the blame for the epidemic to China). But after all, for example, if we draw an analogy with COVID-19: many countries can charge the United States for the spread of AIDS?! This is an irrational move-instead of cooperating in the fight against the global threat, try to quarrel countries among themselves and try to win elections due to this. By the way, many American politicians have already publicly opposed the actions of the Trump team.

So, the other day, former US President Barack Obama also publicly criticized the work of the current US authorities and said that they were unable to take adequate measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic. "This pandemic has convincingly shown that many people in leadership positions simply do not realize what is happening. Some of them don't even try to pretend that they are responsible for anything," Obama said. (https://ru.euronews.com/2020/05/17/obama-attacks-trump)

In general, if you look at the evolution of US bilateral relations with China, you can see that each American administration tried to pursue its own political line, there were periods of cooling and warming. A good graphic of US-Chinese relations in 1949-2020 was presented on its website by the authoritative American "think tank" center "The Council on Foreign Relations" (The Council on Foreign Relations). By the way, this center was created in the interests of business and is funded by the business community in order to have an independent (from the government) understanding of the situation in the world. (https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-relations-china)

The analysis shows that over these 70 years, the relations between these two countries have been different. But even against the background of moments of aggravation, it was American business that was a strong link between the two countries, so Trump's current statements about a possible complete rupture of relations with China are pure pre – election populism.

And even if we assume that Trump will suddenly risk taking such a step, then we need to remember that the United States is a democracy with a wide pluralism of opinions, where one person (even if it is the president of the country) cannot decide for everyone and go against the majority opinion. This is the American system. And if Trump does not know about this, then the electoral period at the end of 2020 will clearly demonstrate this lesson to him.

Therefore, it is hardly worth taking the attacks of the current American president on his major trading partner seriously (after all, China itself has suffered greatly from the epidemic). After all, in fact, Trump is already a "lame duck" in political language, who does not yet have very high chances of being re-elected for a second presidential term.

Measurements of public opinion made by the American popular political analysis site FiveThirtyEight show that today 44% support Trump's work in the United States, 51.7% do not support it, the rest are still in doubt (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/). Similar indicators are reflected in the materials of the American news corporation CNN (http://cdn.cnn.com/.../2.../images/05/12/rel5a.-.coronavirus.pdf).

And a bit of political humor, which well reflects the paradox of the current situation in Sino-American relations. This year, our colleagues brought a small present to the Center for the Study of China from a trip to the United States – a figure of D. Trump with the famous slogan "Make America great again" (Make America great again).

The figure was purchased in one of the American cities. Everything looks great – Trump's leadership look, his confident pose, and the slogan on the American baseball cap. HOWEVER, if you turn it over – there is a sticker "Made in China" on the back of this propaganda figure. This is a small example with a great symbolic meaning, which well reflects the full power of the United States in practice: even the great Trump was produced in China… The photo is attached.

China Studies Centre,
Nur-Sultan, 2020



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