After US President-elect Donald Trump appointed China’s vocal critic Peter Navarro as head of the new National Trade Council, the Chinese media was quick to dub it as a move that could risk escalation of tensions in the Sino-US relationship. An article in the Global Times said that Trump’s Navarro pick is regarded as a signal that he will take more aggressive actions to promote his American interests first agenda.
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It’s likely that the US will adopt reckless trade protectionist policies in future, causing changes to the pattern of the benefits distribution between the US and other countries, said the article.
It added that many in China regard Navarro as an anti-China scholar for advocated enhancing US protection of Taiwan and inviting a Chinese dissident exiled in the US to write a preface for his book and questioned if such a person leading the National Trade Council will reinforce Trump’s prejudice against China and trigger more frictions in bilateral trade and even the overall relationship.
Saying, “This is by no means a positive signal,” the article acknowledged that the Trump team maintains a hard-line attitude toward China and the Beijing must discard any illusions and make full preparations for any offensive move by the Trump government.
It added that Trump chose Navarro not necessarily because of his anti-China stance but also because his primary goal is to revive the US economy, saying, Trump mistakenly believes that China’s prosperity was stolen from the U.S.
The president-elect doesn’t want strategic confrontation, nor does he have a high interest in ideological struggle. He only cares about interests. These will affect how China and the US will deal with each other as well as the appearance of future frictions, it said.
It said that China is powerful enough to withstand pressures from the Trump government and that if Washington dares to provoke China over its core interests, Beijing won’t fear setting up a showdown with the US, pressuring the latter to pay respect to China.