Trump Loves Muslims (In China)
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
By linking trade to human rights, Trump just co-opted Elizabeth Warren’s China policy.
New technology sales prohibitions and a travel ban add supply-side pressure against China in the trade war. But the target – firms and officials implicated in the repression of Muslims in Xinjian – opens up a new front: a US crusade not just against trade abuses, but human rights abuses too. This seems calculated to offend China, which already sees US trade demands as interference in internal affairs. It is likely also calculated to co-opt Warren’s China policy, and make Trump invulnerable to Democratic challenge in 2020 even with no trade deal in hand. Trump will now only take a great deal, not a good one. We’ll know when China feels enough pressure to offer a great deal when RMB weakens further and foreign exchange reserves must be spent to intervene in support.