Chaos in Washington not good news for China

By Yang Chuchu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/14 22:43:39

The most powerful country in the world is mired in unprecedented domestic chaos and scandals. Since the start of Donald Trump's presidency, he has faced multiple accusations of collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. To many Chinese, the chaos does not fit the image the US projected in the past.

The current mess started right after Trump's surprising presidential election victory. At the beginning, the news, such as the sudden dismissal of FBI director James Comey, attracted Chinese netizens' attention. However, as scandals broke one after another, they seem to be taking it as the new normal situation of American domestic politics.

Some hold the view that as the US is struggling to cope with domestic chaos and promote "America First," the country's dominance on international affairs will be consequently reduced, which may be good news for other countries.

However, the US, as it now prioritizes domestic interests and leans toward isolationism, will exert negative impacts on the international community. Stock markets throughout the world have experienced a downward trend recently, a direct response to the woes in Washington.

At a deeper level, the "America First"-focused Trump has made many controversial decisions, such as the travel ban to seven Muslim-majority countries and the US' withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. All these will leave far-reaching influences on the world. The world's largest economy quitting the climate agreement will no doubt have negative effects on other countries, especially on its allies, damaging the influence and appeal of the agreement. In addition, as the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, the US' exit will undoubtedly cast a shadow on the future of global environmental governance.

The current confusion in Washington also makes it hard for Trump to concentrate on diplomatic issues. This leaves some major negotiations in suspense. For example, the North Korean nuclear crisis is facing an uncertain future because of the US' indispensable role in solving this longstanding issue. Plus, the Pentagon's deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in South Korea is another key factor overshadowing the China-South Korea-US trilateral relationship. Nevertheless, the disorder in Washington makes the US ill-prepared to deal with these problems.

And the confusion forebodes uncertainty in US diplomatic policies in the future. During his campaign, Trump accused China of stealing jobs from the US and infringing on intellectual property rights, among other allegations. Facing a more unpredictable US, China needs to be more cautious in handling its trade issues with the US.

In the long-term, the current chaos in US politics will bring more uncertainties to the world. For China, the US will be a harder nut to crack.

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