from Zero Hedge:
As the FT first reported yesetrday, in a dramatic development for Sino-US relations, Trump picked Peter Navarro, a Harvard-trained economist and one-time daytrader, to head the National Trade Council, an organization within the White House to oversee industrial policy and promote manufacturing. Navarro, a hardcore China hawk, is the author of books such as “Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World” has for years warned that the US is engaged in an economic war with China and should adopt a more aggressive stance, a message that the president-elect sold to voters across the US during his campaign.
In the aftermath of Navarro’s appointment, many were curious to see what China’s reaction would be, and according to the FT, Beijin’s response has been nothing short of “shocked.” To wit:
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.”
Shortly after the announcement of Navarro’s appointment, the US Office of the Trade Representative yesterday put added more fuel to trade tensions with Chine when it put Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, back on its “notorious markets” blacklist of companies accused of being involved in peddling fake goods.
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 found itself on the receiving end of diplomatic chaos for much of the past three weeks, starting with Trump accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen in early December, which defied almost four decades of precedent. It only escalated from there, and culminated with the confiscation of a US marine drone last week, which however, China promptly returned to the US earlier this week.
Trump’s recent rhetoric has given China cause for concern: since the call with Ms Tsai, he has publicly criticized China’s currency policies and island fortifications in the South China Sea. He has questioned Washington’s commitment to the One China policy, and also angered Beijing when he suggested that the confiscated navy drone was “stolen” by a Chinese ship.
Wang told the People’s Daily: “We will lead the way amid a shake-up in global governance and take hold of the situation amid international chaos. We will protect our interests amid intense and complex games.”
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