Why Is the US Afraid of China's Rise?

Matthias Oesterle via ZUMA

Matthias Oesterle via ZUMA

What Trump did not mention, however, is that two days before his first tweet about ZTE, "a state-owned Chinese construction company called the Metallurgical Corporation of China announced it would float a $500 million loan to Indonesian developers to facilitate the construction of a vast "integrated lifestyle resort" called MNC Lido City that includes Trump-branded hotels, residences, and a golf course", as Vox puts it.

Regardless of concern from either side of the aisle about potential concessions to ZTE, the problem didn't come up throughout Trump's assembly with Senate Republicans on Tuesday. Ron Wyden (D-OR) about a non-classified, bipartisan House Intelligence Committee report from 2012 about Chinese telecom companies, including ZTE. In return, the Chinese have shown a willingness to buy more goods and services from the US and to gradually open more markets. The U.S. accused ZTE of misleading American regulators over sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

Ross indicated the Commerce Department will be reviewing previous action on ZTE in the near future. House Speaker Paul Ryan increased the time pressure for negotiators last week by saying he'd need to be notified about a deal by May 17 to give the current Congress an opportunity to approve it. The block on ZTE was a heavy blow for the company but also hurt the USA companies it buys from.

The final terms may still change, as a team led by China's top economic envoy Liu He has just arrived in Washington today for a multi-day trade negotiation with his USA counterparts.

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Trump now says he and Chinese President Xi Jinping are "working together" to get ZTE "back into business, fast". "Too many jobs in China lost".

Huawei and ZTE products are being removed from the three store chains operated by the Defense Department at installations worldwide, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. A high-powered USA delegation met for a second day of talks with Chinese officials on defusing tensions that are propelling the world's largest two economies toward a trade war.

ZTE has more than 75,000 employees and is the fourth largest phone maker in the U.S.

"You (Trump) should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs". A number of retailers reported Tuesday that the U.S.is discussing lifting the ZTE penalties to keep away from agricultural sanctions China is making ready to impose on the U.S.

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National Security Agency documents disclosed several years ago by renegade contractor Edward Snowden disclosed that the agency has succeeded in penetrating Chinese telecommunications equipment and used the gear for electronic spying around the world. Both the USA and Chinese governments are suspicious that each others' chips and phones may contain "back doors", compromising the security of users' data. This sometimes leads to glaring contradictions, like an announcement to end a suspension of economic sanctions on Iran on May 8th, while announcing five days later, with his comments on ZTE, that the US government would only enforce those sanctions selectively.

The move to ease the sanctions sparked criticism from both Republicans and Democrats who said the leniency is undercutting Trump's get-tough approach to unfair trading practices by China and its theft of American technology.

ZTE's situation convinced many Chinese that rather than being dependent on foreign suppliers, the country must manufacture key technology products itself.

"This is principally an enforcement issue, by the way".

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