President Trump gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal where he changed a prior position on declaring China a “currency manipulator”:
(Via ABC) According to the Wall Street Journal, the president said the decision came in consideration of talks with China over its role in countering North Korean weapons testing. Trump said that any move to attach the designation could hamper China-U.S. relations. He claimed that, in recent months, China’s currency manipulation has halted. (link)
Is this a change in position? Yes.
It is an arbitrary change, or even an unexpected shift? Hell no.
President Trump is realigning U.S. geopolitical relationships based on America-First interests. President Trump is using economic leverage to provide security and global stability. President Trump knows how to stroke the panda fur.
Last night President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held another consultation call.
Earlier today China abstained from vetoing a U.N. security council resolution against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia was forced to stand alone in alliance with Bashir Assad. Russia is now isolated. To emphasize that point, President Trump publicly states his support for NATO.
Earlier this week, following the April 6th, 7th Florida meeting between President Xi and President Trump, China refused to allow North Korean coal cargo ships to unload. Today, China signaled they may temporarily ban the export of oil into North Korea. Through these actions North Korea is becoming isolated.
China holds leverage over North Korea as the U.S. holds leverage over Puerto Rico.
As we stated in 2016, and again in January 2017, President Trump is positioning economic leverage with China to promote U.S. security interests.
The non-designation of China as a “currency manipulator” may be a billion benefit to China today, but if China can leverage productive action by North Korea, that same transactional exchange may save the U.S. billions in the use of military and peacekeeping assets, and provide enhanced security to South Korea – another strategic economic interest of the U.S.
This should come as no surprise to those who carefully followed Donald Trump’s public positions on the issues. Bold predictive statements made earlier provide the leverage today for President Trump to find a larger economic and national security win.
In the last 24 hours:
♦ Russia said President Putin would not meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Hours later Vladimir Putin hosted T-Rex for more than two hours.
♦ Russia vetos a U.N. Security Council resolution against Syria, and China refused to stand with them – that’s a historic shift of alliance.
♦ President Trump modifies his position on Chinese currency, and China announces the possibility of an oil embargo against North Korea.
[…] A new nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile test, if conducted by Pyongyang at this time, will be a slap in the face of the US government and will intensify the confrontation between North Korea and the US.
Presumably Beijing will react strongly to Pyongyang’s new nuclear actions. China will not remain indifferent to Pyongyang’s aggravating violation of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution.
More and more Chinese support the view that the government should enhance sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear activities. If the North makes another provocative move this month, the Chinese society will be willing to see the UNSC adopt severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before, such as restricting oil imports to the North.
Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program is intended for securing the regime, however, it is reaching a tipping point. Pyongyang hopes its gamble will work, but all signs point to the opposite direction. (link)
President Trump is leveraging China toward successful objectives in both Syria and North Korea. In both instances Russia and North Korea are more isolated. Additionally, in both of the key security interests of the United States, the use of this economic leverage means we do not have to involve our military.
The media are gleefully pointing out reversals or modifications of prior positions announced by candidate, now President, Donald Trump. However, within each of these modified positions there are enormous benefits to the America-First platform.
America-First is not about isolationism; it is about the smart use of America’s aggregate scale and influence to shape outcomes that benefit America First.