The chances of the U.S. and China, the two biggest economies in the world and the two remaining superpowers on the planet, amicably settling the trade tiff between them are between slim and none.
Fake news that midlevel U.S. negotiators had productive meetings with their Chinese counterparts this week was just that – fake news.
That’s because something else was happening this week between the U.S. and China.
The truth is there are two reasons, one insidious and one frightening, why a comprehensive trade deal will never be struck.
Next week, I’ll tell you what the Chinese have really been doing that makes an honest deal impossible.
But first, I’ll give you the frightening reason today.
It’s been brewing for years.
While midlevel negotiators were posturing this week that progress was being made on trade talks, with the President tweeting, “Very productive conversations going on with China! Watch for some important announcements!” there was another kind of posturing on Chinese television.
On Tuesday, China Central Television reported the deployment of DF-26 IRBM, intermediate range ballistic missiles, in China’s remote northwest plateau.
DF-26 missiles, capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads, with a range of 3,400 miles, entered service in the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Forces in April 2017.
They were deployed in the remote northwest plateau region because they’re protected from antimissile forces there.
The missiles, are dubbed “Guam killers” by Pentagon analysts, because they’re capable of reaching Andersen Air Force Base and other key military installations on the U.S. island territory in the Western Pacific.
But, they’re more likely being pointed toward the South China Sea.
That’s where the latest round of the U.S. Navy “freedom of navigation” operations are being conducted.
This isn’t the first time the Chinese have created missile called a “something-killer” – just recently they announced their DF-21D, a “carrier killer” that Beijing now believes can tip the balance of power in the South China Sea. You can learn more about that by clicking here.
For years, China has claimed territorial sovereignty over a large portion of the 1.3 million-square-mile South China Sea, going as far as creating man-made islands in the disputed waters, establishing fortifications, landing long-range bombers, and patrolling those islands with state-of-the-art destroyers.
The U.S. has been increasingly challenging China’s presence in the disputed Sea.
Deployment of the DF-26 missiles Tuesday was China’s reaction to U.S. guided-missile destroyer, the USS McCampbell, approaching the Paracel Islands as part of the Navy’s continuing operations on Monday.
U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesperson Lt. j.g. Rachel McMarr, in a formal statement, announced, “McCampbell sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law.”
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang, responded, “The U.S. action violated Chinese laws and international laws, infringed China’s sovereignty, damaged regional peace, security, and order.” And, he added ominously, “China will take necessary actions to protect state sovereignty.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, Washington has repeatedly said, “China’s construction and fortification of man-made islands puts trillions of dollars of trade, travel, and communications under the thumb of Beijing.”
With the U.S. openly challenging China militarily, and China responding by deploying new ballistic missiles and announcing it on Chinese television, how could the two superpower nations amicably resolve trade and tariff disputes as their militaries face off?
China isn’t going to back down, and there’s no way the U.S. can back down. Even if the U.S. did, it would announce to the world that we’re ceding control of a vast area of Sea to China.
Trade talks are a smokescreen for what’s really going on, the two biggest economic and military superpowers on the planet sizing up and staring each other down.
Next week, I’ll tell you what the Chinese have been doing that they’ll never stop.
It’s the other reason the U.S. can’t possibly reach a comprehensive resolution to the two country’s tariff tiff, and it could quickly explode into a full-blown trade war.