Simon Levy | China, The Yellow Sea and the World’s Stability
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China, The Yellow Sea and the World’s Stability

China, The Yellow Sea and the World’s Stability

“If Trump abandons the policy of only one China,
Beijing won’t have to set above peace to force in order to recover Taiwan”

The words are a map of hidden meanings and even more so when the one who speaks them is Trump, not as a businessman or a negotiator, but as the elect president of the United States.

These words that look for negotiating future realities put in jeopardy all the stabilizing efforts of the past. China doesn’t stay as Mexico, which is waiting in expectation, the Asian country immediately orders the deployment of Yang Jiechi, ex foreign affairs minister, to Mexico, accompanied by a person with deep understanding of the Chinese-Latin American relation.

In China, especially, nothing is done by coincidence. More than China’s strong insistence against Mexico than by our own conviction (to be prudent), we have managed to frighteningly retrieve ourselves; instead of showing our personality with a clear vision, we hesitate and come out as fearful. What Mexico cannot fully understand is that China is in the immediate horizon and it hasn’t been long since it turned into a must, instead of a should. We’ve been telling ourselves the same thing for 13 years.

Taiwan, island that holds diplomatic relations with 22 countries and which China considers if not as a province but the Chinese pragmatism pushes it as a part of the bigger Asian country, with other system, has been mentioned by Trump in at least 3 times in the last 10 days. The grave danger of a war are commercial excuses. A matter that should be resolved in an ambiance of commercial arguments could evolve to a military dispute.

China’s influence plays a bigger role in Trump’s decisions, every day that goes by. The first was the announcement of the US exit of the TPP, the second one is the threat of renegotiating the NAFTA, and the third bringing Taiwan to the spotlight.

The strength of words begins to impose between the pacifism of the pax Americana that Obama pushed. For Trump it isn’t but the strength of words and military action what really generates long lasting peace. However, today victories are based in more than the number of tanks, but they are based on data intelligence, it isn’t in the movement of goods but in the intelligence of the value chain. While he would have to push the free trade with strong incentives to manufacture added value products in the US, keep pushing technological leadership and establish a logistic infrastructure program that turns the 3 North American countries into a shield against Asia, creating more battle fronts while the building of alliances is kept in the dark.

Trump wanting to isolate the US is creating a commonly powerful front. Mexico without a diplomatic standing and without a clear agenda, turns to China more as a defiance against Trump’s declarations than a cooperation strategy.

Next Scenarios

In the Mexico-China professorship, which has been going on for 3 years in the UNAM, Susan Shirk, with a deep knowledge of the US interests in China’s protection, showed her vision about the American anti-nationalism in the Asian country.

While she spoke, we imagined a Trump who will negotiate with Chinese provinces and with Asian satellite countries in order to weaken Chinese unity.

Trump will look for impact on the profitability of Chinese state owned companies with a strong rise on compensation fees, also non-tariff barriers to Chinese and Mexican products. Indirectly, Trump will unite Mexico with China, and in the attempt to renegotiate the NAFTA, a new free trade agreement will rise.

A military conflict between the Koreas will distract attention from China to the US, and will lead to putting more attention to sea limits disputes and the Taiwan relationship.

It isn’t the withdrawal of the TPP but the new allied nations club to produce for the US the things that we will be looking at. India, Center and South America will play a decisive role. Russia will be very important, and Japan even more. The next big military conflict can be at the Yellow Sea.

Historic enemies unite to transform conflicts into alliances. Protectionism sets above liberal conservationism. The world is still shocked. Without a doubt, Trump will use Sun Tzu’s strategy against China. But Trump’s negotiating methods will be worth to keep an eye on as the Chinese presidency is a gamble in a casino reality.

~Simón Levy-Dabbah