US Officials Criticize Beijing as Trade Tensions Mount

By Kitty Wang

As U.S.-China trade tensions escalate, Washington seems to be taking every opportunity to call out Beijing.

In Australia on August 4, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper strongly criticized the regime.

During the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations, or AUSMIN Summit, Esper said, “We also stand firmly against a disturbing pattern of aggressive behavior, destabilizing behavior from China. This includes weaponizing the global Commons, using predatory economics and debt-for-sovereignty deals, and promoting state-sponsored theft of other nations’ intellectual property.”

The comments come as frustrations grow in Washington, with Beijing intentionally delaying trade negotiations. President Trump announced on August 1 a 10% tariff on $300-billion in Chinese imports starting September 1.

On “Fox News Sunday,” White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro described China’s unfair trade practices as the Seven Deadly Sins: “The Seven Deadly Sins here—basically it’s: stop stealing our intellectual property, stop forcing technology transfer, stop hacking our computers to steal our trade secrets, stop dumping into our markets and putting our companies out of business, stop their state-owned Enterprises from heavy subsidies, stop the fentanyl, stop the currency manipulation.”

Navarro said that the Chinese Communist Party must stop its misconduct to end the U.S.-China trade war.

U.S.-China relations have become increasingly tense, in terms of both military and economics; which—in China—are intertwined. Security expert Anthony Vinci says unlike other countries, in China there is no clear difference between public and private sectors; all are controlled by the Communist Party.

“This creates a ‘virtuous’ circle in which the government can help business expand and dominate industries and then use those businesses to expand government geopolitical power. The spectrum of Chinese economic competition has already led to real threats, in my view,” Anthony Vinci, Adjunct senior fellow, Hudson Institute said.

Vinci said this makes it much easier for China to use security and intelligence apparatus to steal intellectual property for promoting economic growth, and to achieve geopolitical ambitions through economic coercion.