By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) There is little doubt among politicos that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided to hold a pointless ‘impeachment’ vote on Wednesday and name her managers in President Trump’s now-upcoming Senate trial.
She did it to upstage a major diplomatic, foreign policy, and economic accomplishment by the president: The signing of “Phase One” of a historic trade agreement with our chief geopolitical rival, China.
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Democrats are loathe to give a Republican president credit for anything, but their desire to deny President Trump victories — especially major campaign pledge victories like this one — is driven by pure hate (with some insanity thrown in for good measure).
Nevertheless, the deal got signed and, as The Epoch Times reports, contains some pretty substantial provisions:
Beijing has committed to buy $200 billion worth of additional U.S. goods and services over the next two years, including $40-50 billion of agricultural goods each year. …
The agreement promises an increased purchase of American manufactured goods, food, agricultural and seafood products, energy, and services.
These purchases are expected to continue on the same trajectory for several years after 2021 and contribute to the rebalancing of the U.S.-China trade relations, according to aÂ factsheetÂ on the deal released by the administration.
In return, Washington has agreed to modify its Section 301 tariff actions. It canceled a 15 percent levy on nearly $160 billion of Chinese goods scheduled for mid-December. It reduced tariffs to 7.5 percent from 15 percent on about $120 billion of Chinese imports.
In addition, the 25 percent tariffs on nearly $250 billion of Chinese goods were kept in place, instead of increasing them toÂ 30 percent,Â as was scheduled.
Beijing also canceled imposing tariffs on U.S. goods that had been scheduled for Dec. 15 as retaliation.
Trump earlier said that he would use the remaining U.S. tariffs as a bargaining chip for the second phase of the deal, negotiations for which are to start right away.
The agreement also includes some commitments by China to protect intellectual property, stop forced technology transfers, and provide transparency on foreign exchange practices.
China has also promised to open up its financial services markets to U.S. banks and credit companies.
â€œTogether we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers farmers and families,â€ the president said. â€œThis is a very important and remarkable occasion.â€
â€œThereâ€™s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, men see only the present, but heaven sees the future,â€ added Vice President Mike Pence. â€œSo let today be the beginning of a brighter future, more prosperous to the American people, the Chinese people, and the world.â€
â€œOver the past two years the two sides encountered some difficulties in the economic and trade field,â€ noted Chinaâ€™s Vice Premier Liu He. â€œHowever, our two economic teams did not give up. With the relentless efforts from both sides on the basis of equality and mutual respect, we have reached this phase one trade agreement.â€
So, President Trump and Vice President Pence attended this historic trade agreement…but Chinese President Xi Jinping sent hisÂ vice premier instead of coming himself?
Well, you say, He negotiated the deal. True, but a) he spoke on behalf of Xi, head of the Chinese Communist Party; and b) presidents usually attend events that are summarily attended by other presidents when there is an agreement of this magnitude.
So, what gives?
There is a ‘thing’ in Asian culture called “saving face” which is a concept defined as, “Saving Face signifies a desireâ€”or defines a strategyâ€”to avoid humiliation orÂ embarrassment, to maintain dignity or preserve reputation,” and it “is a core social value in Asian cultures.”
Had the Phase One agreement been a true victory for China rather than for the United States and, in particular, Donald Trump, Xi would have been on the plane to the United States.
But since he has been forced to reach agreements he never wanted to make, he would have lost face had he attended the signing ceremony in Washington Wednesday.
So he sent his vice premier instead.
Translation: Trump wins, meaning America wins (again) and bigly.
Now, for Phase Two, it makes sense that Trump would fly to China and allow Xi to save face again by appearing to be in control and, thus, presidential, in front of his own people.
Remember, information flowing into China is filtered, censored, and tailored to empower the regime. That would include information about such things as trade deals with the United States in which China has been forced to capitulate.
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