I beg to differ with Jim Fossel’s view in the July 26 commentary, “Trump on right path with China.” The president is three and a half years late in putting pressure on China. This sudden, aggressive policy shift is to deflect attention from his catastrophic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. When his poll numbers in dealing with the pandemic tanked, Trump needed a scapegoat, and China was chosen, even though he had for many months praised China for its “transparency” and success in dealing with the virus, and in over three years had ignored many of China’s human rights, trade and geopolitical violations.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has praised China’s leader, Xi Jinping. For example, in March 2018 Trump said of Xi, “He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great.” Meanwhile, China has forced one million Uighur citizens into concentration camps over the last three years.

Similarly, Fossel ignores history when he mistakenly criticizes President Obama as having done nothing on trade. Obama finalized the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPP was a trade agreement 10 years in the making with 12 Asian and other regional nations, and served as a bulwark against Chinese geopolitical aggression and trade violations. Trump played into China’s hands by pulling us out of the deal in 2017, allowing China a free hand to effectively take our place. Now, Trump is looking into rejoining the TPP.

Jim Fossel missed the big picture here. The president needed to deflect blame for his failure at controlling the pandemic and reopening the economy, and China provides a convenient villain. Trump’s 180-degree policy shift is clearly a ploy, not a thoughtful strategy for improving the economy or protecting human rights.

 

George Martin

Mount Vernon


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