In rising tensions over the South China sea, the Chinese military have carried out an exercise in the area with a flotilla of warships surrounding their new one and only aircraft carrier. The incident is likely to spark more outrage in the disputed region. The region is regarded as international waters, but China claims it as sovereign territory and has begun militarising the area, even building man made islands and placing military equipment and bases on them.
The flotilla passed close to the Taiwanese coast, in what is most likely a show of force against a country which is trying to strike out on its own, despite China claiming Taiwan also as Chinese territory. This “one-China” policy has been reignited of late due to a phone call from Taiwan’s President congratulating US President elect’s Donald Trump’s election victory. Tensions were further inflamed this week when it was announced that the US had signed military deals with Taiwan regarding joint military exercises in the region. Both of these actions caused Beijing to complain to Washington at the highest levels.
With Donald Trump soon to enter the White House, it is unlikely that US-China relations are going to significantly improve. Trump is overtly against the Chinese regime, and has gone on record to state that he favours levying extra tariffs on the importation of Chinese goods to the US. This policy is likely to cause much consternation on both sides. American’s have become reliable on cheap Chinese imports, as China has become reliant on its export business to the US. Any sort of additional tariff is highly likely to opposed by the more libertarian elements of the Republican party, who will favour an open market, and would not support government intervention that would increase prices paid by American citizens.
Any amendment to current trade agreements would also be terrible news for China, so much of their export business is done with the US. Let alone American companies that manufacture their goods in the country. As far as electronics manufacturers are concerned, most of them do business out of China. The supply of trained and cheap labour far surpass what they can get in the US for anything like the same cost. It’s this business practice that has moved companies like Apple to being the worlds richest company.
This policy is likely to set Trump on a collision course with those who are the most likely to support him in the business world. It is highly likely that after much behind the scenes wrangling, it is yet another policy that is going in to the archives, never to be seen again.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.