September 20, 2015

"Xi arrives just as both countries are experiencing a wave of nationalism."

New Yorker Last month, after a drop in China’s stock markets and a devaluation of its currency triggered a plunge on Wall Street, Donald Trump, the Republican Presidential front-runner, called on President Obama to cancel Xi’s gala and “get him a McDonald’s hamburger.” By Evan Osnos

'Trump also demanded “a big uncoupling” of the two economies, and tariffs on Chinese imports of up to twelve per cent. “They want our people to starve,” he told Fox News. “They’re taking our business away.” Despite the fact that China is now America’s third-largest export market, other candidates followed suit. But the impact of the campaign rhetoric has been limited in China, where hardly anyone had previously heard of Trump, or Chuanpu, as he is known in Mandarin, and the Global Times, a state-run newspaper, reassured its readers that, during election seasons, American politicians frequently discover that criticizing China is “not only good for shock value but also safe for them; candidates can treat it as a useful tool with no consequences.”

'Recently, China has sent its own wary, often conflicting messages to the United States. As the economic boom has slowed, the Party has promoted an alternative source of legitimacy, emphasizing the Communists’ triumph in ending a “century of humiliation,” suffered at the hands of Japan and Western imperial powers. Fearful that Western values will undermine its rule, the Party is considering a new law that would constrain nongovernment organizations—including even ones as apolitical as study-abroad programs. People’s Daily, the Party’s official mouthpiece, maintains an online page entitled “America’s Strategy to Contain China Will Never Change.” Since Xi took office, in 2012, government-run media outlets have escalated warnings about foreign “hostile forces” conspiring to destabilize Hong Kong.

'Foreign companies describe the atmosphere as less welcoming. When the stock market slid, Financial News, another official paper, accused Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other investment banks of provoking a market “stampede,” and theorized that foreigners were trying to stop China from becoming a financial rival. (The actual role of foreign investors in Chinese stock markets is minimal; UBS estimates that foreigners hold about one per cent of China’s $6.4-trillion domestic market value.)'

No comments: