US President Donald Trump on Thursday reiterated his intention to cut commercial ties with China a day after his senior diplomats met with the Chinese Communist Party officials.

US-China decoupling

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the House of Representatives the day before that breaking commercial and technological ties with China was not a reasonable option.

“It was not Ambassador Lighthizer’s fault (yesterday in Committee) in that perhaps I didn’t make myself clear, but the U.S. certainly does maintain a policy option, under various conditions, of a complete decoupling from China,” Trump tweeted.

At the same time, US Deputy Secretary of State for East Asia-Pacific Affairs, Stilwell said China insisted that it will adhere to the Phase-1 deal during high-level talks in Hawaii on Wednesday, adding that Chinese attitude could not be clearly defined.

Stressing that there are fewer areas to cooperate with China, Stilwell said that China’s recent actions, including border dispute with India, the autonomy of Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and the trade front, were not constructive.

Since Trump was elected, rebalancing the major US trade deficit with China has been his top priority, but the trade war with China that flared up is once again straining the ties.

Cyberattack on Australia

Australian Prime Minister Morrison announced early Friday that his country was under a cyber-attack at all levels, including industry, health, education, and basic service providers.

Morrison said there was a sophisticated state actor behind the attack, but declined to name any.

The Australian Defense Secretary stated that the attack did not cause a large-scale personal data breach at the moment. The prime minister said that individuals and companies needed to increase their online security measures.

Although Morrison avoided calling the perpetrator of the attack, the country’s media pointed at Communist China. The Beijing government has increased its commercial pressure on Australia in recent weeks, reducing the purchase of many agricultural products. Canberra had asked for an international independent investigation into how Covid19 came out and spread from China.

EU policy

European Union Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell said that Trump’s verbal attacks on the EU and tariff threats have obviously damaged the Trans-Atlantic relationship.

In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Borrell said Europe has decided to draw a path for itself against the growing assertiveness and expansionism of China.

Counting the differences, including the nuclear deal with Iran, the Middle East peace process, trade, military spending, and Washington’s withdrawal from international institutions and treaties, Borrell said Europe will not follow the US calls for a more confrontational approach.

Borrell underlined that Brussels can revise the nuclear deal with Iran and is not looking to have a new cold war with China.

Tension in Korea

North Korean state media wrote in a report published on Friday that people from all walks of life in the Communist nation “exploded in anger” against the South, and wired the army’s continued entry into demilitarized borderlands.


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