During the course of his charged-up State of the Union address on Tuesday night, US President Donald Trump came took potshots galore at China while also admonishing his own political rivals for having had a soft international trade policy.
Claiming that the US has now put China in its place by imposing high tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump said the US treasury is brimming with money. "We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries and stealing our intellectual properties, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end," he said. "Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on 250 billion dollars of Chinese goods and now our treasury is receiving billions and billions of dollars. But I don't blame China for taking advantage of us. I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen."
Since even before becoming the US President, Trump has maintained a tough stance against China and blamed the country for going on a 'commercial crime spree.' Beijing has been blamed for stealing foreign intellectual property and for forcing American companies to share technologies. China has also been blamed for stealing American jobs with Trump warning companies to open more of their units in the US rather than manufacturing/procuring from China to sell in America.
While Trump has indeed imposed a tariff of 250 billion dollars on China, Beijing has hit back by imposing taxes worth 110 billion dollars on American products. And while high-level talks are being planned to diffuse the situation, economic and political analysts are not too optimistic because of the hard-line already taken by both countries. In addition, accusations of corporate espionage - like in the case of Huawei where the smartphone maker has been accused of snooping for China in the US - has further eroded trust. While China maintains the accusations and charge against it are baseless, and that it must be seen as a credible and worthy competitor to the US, Trump is quite unwilling to back down.