An Imagined Conversation Between China’s Xi and Trump

China’s President Xi Jinping gave a striking defence of globalisation at Davos in January. This stands in contrast to US President Donald Trump’s attack on globalisation. I thought I’d splice President Xi’s Davos speech with Donald Trump’s key quotes on the topic to produce a remarkable conversation between the two men:

Is globalisation man-made or not?

Trump: “Today, we import nearly $800 billion more in goods than we export. This is not some natural disaster. It is a politician-made disaster. It is the consequence of a leadership class that worships globalism over Americanism.“ (June 2016 campaign speech on jobs plan)

Xi: “From the historical perspective, economic globalization resulted from growing social productivity, and is a natural outcome of scientific and technological progress, not something created by any individualsor any countries. Economic globalization has powered global growth and facilitated movement of goods and capital, advances in science, technology and civilization, and interactions among peoples.” (Davos, 17/1/2017)

Refugees

Trump: “People, countries, want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity. But, I do believe this, if they hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the problems that it … entails, I think that you wouldn’t have a Brexit. This was the final straw that broke the camel’s back… I believe others will leave… And I think this, if refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe … I think it’s gonna be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it….I think she [Merkel] made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know taking all of the people from wherever they come from. And nobody even knows where they come from.” (Sunday Times, 15/1/2017)

Xi: “Many of the problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization. For instance, the refugee waves from the Middle East and North Africa in recent years have become a global concern… It is war, conflict and regional turbulence that have created this problem, and its solution lies in making peace.” (Davos, 17/1/2017)

The 1%

Trump: “Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache. When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment. Many of these areas have still never recovered. Our politicians took away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families. Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they loved shipped thousands of miles away. This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it all around – and we can turn it around fast.” (June 2016 campaign speech on jobs plan)

Xi: “Uneven global development makes it difficult to meet people’s expectations for better lives. Dr Schwab has observed in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution that this round of industrial revolution will produce extensive and far-reaching impacts such as growing inequality, particularly the possible widening gap between return on capital and return on labor. The richest one percent of the world’s population own more wealth than the remaining 99 percent. Inequality in income distribution and uneven development space are worrying. Over 700 million people in the world are still living in extreme poverty. For many families, to have warm houses, enough food and secure jobs is still a distant dream. This is the biggest challenge facing the world today. It is also what is behind the social turmoil in some countries.” (Davos, 17/1/2017)

Helping the 99%

Trump: “America became the world’s dominant economy by becoming the world’s dominant producer. The wealth this created was shared broadly, creating the biggest middle class the world had ever known. But then America changed its policy from promoting development in America, to promoting development in other nations.

We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements, and cheat in every way imaginable. Trillions of our dollars and millions of our jobs flowed overseas as a result… We tax and regulate and restrict our companies to death, then we allow foreign countries that cheat to export their goods to us tax-free. As a result, we have become more dependent on foreign countries than ever before… it’s time to declare our economic independence once again.” (June 2016 campaign speech on jobs plan)

Xi: “The founder of the Red Cross Henry Dunant once said, ‘Our real enemy is not the neighboring country; it is hunger, poverty, ignorance, superstition and prejudice.’ We need to have the vision to dissect these problems; more importantly, we need to have the courage to take actions to address them… We should develop a new development philosophy and rise above the debate about whether there should be more fiscal stimulus or more monetary easing… We should develop new growth models and seize opportunities presented by the new round of industrial revolution and digital economy. We should meet the challenges of climate change and aging population. We should address the negative impact of IT application and automation on jobs. When cultivating new industries and new forms models of business models, we should create new jobs and restore confidence and hope to our peoples.” (Davos, 17/1/2017)

China’s WTO entry

Xi: “There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, and was not sure whether it should join the World Trade Organization. But we came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historical trend. To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. If one is always afraid of bracing the storm and exploring the new world, he will sooner or later get drowned in the ocean. Therefore, China took a brave step to embrace the global market. We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountered whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proved to be a right strategic choice.” (Davos, 17/1/2017)

Trump: “China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization has enabled the greatest jobs theft in history… From 1947 to 2001 – a span of over five decades – our inflation-adjusted gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.5%. However, since 2002 – the year after we fully opened our markets to Chinese imports – that GDP growth rate has been cut almost in half. What does this mean for Americans? For every one percent of GDP growth we fail to generate in any given year, we also fail to create over one million jobs… I am going to instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO… If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.” (June 2016 campaign speech on jobs plan)

Open China, Closed US

Xi: “We Chinese know only too well what it takes to achieve prosperity, so we applaud the achievements made by others and wish them a better future. We are not jealous of others’ success; and we will not complain about others who have benefited so much from the great opportunities presented by China’s development. We will open our arms to the people of other countries and welcome them aboard the express train of China’s development.” (Davos, 17/1/2017)

Trump: There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder. And if our politicians had what it takes, they would have done this years ago. And you’d have millions more workers right now in the United States that are – 96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get. You know that story. The real number – that’s the real number.” (Press conference, 11/1/2017 )

“They [German motorists] can build cars for the US, but they will pay 35 percent taxes on any car that comes to the US… if they want to build a factory in Mexico and sell cars to the US without a 35 percent tax, they can forget it.” (Bild, 15/1/2017)

“With all the jobs I am bringing back to our Nation, that number will only higher. Car companies and others, if they want to do business in our country, they have to start making things here again.” (Twitter, 15/1/2017)

Bilal

[wysija_form id=”1″]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *