Washington June 30 (TNS): In a flurry of announcements likely to antagonize Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration has seemingly thrown its China policy into reverse, cooling relations between the two superpowers.
In less than one week, the US has finalized a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, labeled China one of the world’s worst human traffickers and imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank for doing business with North Korea.
Trump and Xi had previously enjoyed an unusually cordial relationship since their first February meeting in Florida, with the US president describing Xi as a “terrific person” with whom he had a “very good relationship.”
In exchange for Xi’s agreement to help restrain North Korea, the Trump administration loosened or withdrew US pressure in other areas, including the South China Sea and Trump’s previous campaign pledge to label China a currency manipulator.
But on June 21, Trump sent a tweet saying Chinese efforts to restrain North Korea had “not worked out,” while adding he greatly appreciated that they had “tried.”
“It’s a very firm indication that the honeymoon after the Mar-a-Lago summit is over and that tweet in particular … that was a clear signal that there was going to be a change and cooling in temperature of China and US ties,” Euan Graham, International Security Program director at Sydney’s Lowy Institute, told CNN. Courtesy CNN