On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the Office of the United States Trade Representative to begin a probe of China’s trade practice, with a particular focus on the alleged theft of American technologies and intellectual property. The announcement came just days after China’s support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2371, which mandated unprecedented, harsh sanctions on North Korea.
Although the trade investigation does not lead to immediate sanctions on China, the move signifies a negative tone and punitive direction for U.S.-China trade relations. Such a power play against Beijing despite Chinese cooperation on North Korea not only threatens to derail Trump’s China card in North Korea, but also begs the question of why the U.S. president is linking these two issues in this way at all. The gamble sends mixed messages to China and makes it increasingly more likely the two powers will fail to cooperate on these crucial affairs.
This article was originally published by The Huffington Post on August 17, 2017. Read the full article here.