Friday, 21 Jun 2019
OPINION

Verbal crashes until next talks

Updated at Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019, 01:10
The Hanoitimes - Possibly, like last year in Argentina, Trump and Xi would meet in private, talk to each other and reach new agreements and solve the dispute or at least to reactivate their bilateral trade talks.
China and the US are now in an open stand-off not only on bilateral trade but also on all aspects of their strategic competition. Eleven rounds of bilateral trade talks all have failed to reach agreements which both sides deadly need to solve their trade conflict. Both of them leave the possibility open for new rounds of talks but none of them seems now to be ready to take the initiative in putting forward new talk proposals. All signs tended to indicate that this stalemate over the negotiations between China and the US would extend.
 
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/
In this circumstances, the more unpredictable the prospect of China-US relations are, the fiercer and more aggressive is the war of words between the US and China in the media, at the annual Shangri-La Dialog in Singapore as well as during the state visit of China's President Xi to Russia. One side accused the other of deliberately taking the negotiations to a deadlock, reversing the ongoing trade talks and making any agreement impossible. China went so far to say that the US carried out something like an economic war against it while the US insisted that China bears the full responsibility for altering security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both sides sent messages of both deterrence and threat. Both sides showed firm determination to defend their strategic or core interests in both their bilateral relations and in this region. The world outside China and the US could not roll back the impression that the differences between the US and China are now so fundamental and deep that it could need long time, if possible, to narrow or overcome them. In other words, there is no prospect for improving the US-China relationships in the near future.

In fact, there would be no better US-China relationship in sight because the dispute is already hugely detrimental to both and the longer it lasts the more dire the havoc it would wreaked for the US and China politically as well as economically. The two countries are now looking for the chance and right time to deescalate the conflict without losing face and being considered weak by the other. By the end of this month, US President Trump and China's President Xi will both travel to Osaka (Japan) to attend this year's annual G20 summit. Possibly, like last year in Argentina, Trump and Xi would meet in private, talk to each other and reach new agreements and solve the dispute or at least to reactivate their bilateral trade talks. Otherwise, their verbal crashes would continue.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau
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