“China in particular has been Trump’s whipping boy since before his presidential campaign,” said Dennis Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California.
“Trump has attributed every ill that besets the US to China. China, China, China. It was raping the US, stealing US jobs, and intellectual property, manipulating its currency and engaging in a myriad of unfair trade practices,” Etler told Press TV on Thursday.
There have been conflicting comments out of Washington and Beijing about the likelihood of achieving a trade deal. A US diplomat in Beijing said last week that an agreement was not imminent, Presstv reported.
The Trump administration is demanding China make deep structural changes, including changes to how Beijing treats US companies and its own state-owned enterprises, and the deal is expected to require commitments on the Chinese currency and protections for American technology.
Trump said Wednesday he is “in no rush” to complete a trade pact with China that could potentially end a months-long trade war between Washington and Beijing.
Trump made the remarks during a press conference at the White House, ahead of a possible meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the former’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida later this month.
The US president used the failure of a summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam last month to claim that he was a tough negotiator.
“With the US political season heating up, Trump has to show that all his posturing has resulted in some tangible success, or else he’ll be shown to be the empty suit that he is,” Etler said.
“In order to strong arm China to get some concessions, Trump has resorted to the age old tactics of the gangster, a role for which he is well rehearsed,” Etler argued.
“Trump can only seek an advantage by playing dirty. Hence, he imposes secondary sanctions on Chinese companies, and attempts to extort them by filing bogus criminal charges against their corporate officials. Trump tries to use every underhanded trick in the book to gain some advantage over his adversaries, all to no avail.”