Below is a New Silk Strategies translation from the Russian site teknoblog.ru.
It is clear from Trump’s enthusiastic sales talk to the Polish authorities on July 6, 2017 (as we reported here) that the centrepiece of Trump’s economic policy is LNG exports. The US has no major economic projects even remotely comparable to China’s One Belt One Road initiative, the biggest infrastructure project in history. But worse, all of the energy companies involved in fracking are running in the red with no prospects of ever making profits unless oil prices skyrocket to new highs and stay there. The wells are short-lived and by the time they are producing steadily, they are already drying up, necessitating new drilling and more borrowing. Worse, that big deal with China to sujpply a major portion of their gas needs may be about to fizzle, thanks to Trump’s tough guy act.
In 2016, Henry Kissinger floated the idea of using Russia to oppose China and shared the idea with an enthusiastic Donald Trump. Kissinger had entertained this idea in the 1970s as Nixon’s national security adviser. The problem is, the whole notion of granting China “most-favoured nation” status, ie, doing essentially free trade with it, was based on just the opposite mission of opposing Russia using China as a club, and both ideas have their die-hard supporters in Washington. Keen observers know neither approach will succeed. In fact, recently the National Interest reported that China and Russia are planning joint military drills. Though the news outlet described China’s role as a “guest appearance,” the fact is, as the report goes on
“The Chinese PLA expects to deploy some 3,200 troops, more than 900 pieces of weaponry and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to the Vostok-2018 exercise.”
The Zapad-2017 had also sent a similar message to the West. We suspect the State Department and Pentagon are also well aware of this coziness between the 2 states and know in their heart of hearts that there will be no wedge driven between the 2 superpowers. Any statements of bravado to the contrary are just can-kicking, for consumption by the plebes.
After all, the US is familiar with China's strategy. It's called negotiating from a position of strength.
CHINA TO SLAP TARIFFS ON US LNG IMPORTS
Aug. 4, 2018
China will impose a 25% duty on imports of US LNG in response to the introduction of duties on Chinese goods. This was reported by Bloomberg.
Some experts, even in the United States itself, have already begun to sound the alarm, arguing that the trade war unleashed by President Donald Trump may have a boomerang effect, since Washington, counting on submissive acceptance by other states with regard to their demands for American goods, will receive a response that the White House will definitely not like. As a result, there can be no expected economic effect from pushing American demands, and the US itself stands to lose billions of dollars in the Washington-declared trade war, and at the same time, the thousands of American jobs that Trump is very much counting on, will not materialize.
If China, which had previously accused the US of unleashing a trade war, nevertheless makes good its threat and introduces a 25% duty on American LNG, then the multibillion-dollar Sino-US projects at risk are considered to be projects of the largest US gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc. Deliveries of US LNG to China were previously stipulated by the parties.
As Bloomberg notes, Beijing's actions may hamper the development of trade in US liquefied gas, whose production in the US is currently experiencing a real boom.
Last month, the US authorities compiled an additional list of Chinese goods on which it is expected to introduce a 10% duty.
China had earlier said it would react instantly to any restrictive US actions.
A day earlier, the Commission on Customs Tariffs of the State Council of the People's Republic of China decided to impose increased import duties of 25%, 20%, 10% and 5% on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, amounting to about $60 billion per year. This was China’s reaction to US plans to introduce duties of 25% on imports of Chinese goods and services worth 200 billion dollars a year.