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(Global Times) US Vice President Mike Pence plans to deliver his second speech on US policy toward China on Thursday. The remarks will reflect on the US-China relationship over the past year and look at the future of the relationship, noted a Reuters report. Looking at the future needs a foundation of stable policies. However, the question is, does the US have such a policy foundation?|
Since US President Donald Trump took office, his administration has been challenging the consensus reached between China and the US, for instance, violated one-China principle to pass the so-called Taipei Act on September 25.
Trump himself blows hot and cold one day to another. One reason the US-launched trade war against China has escalated and lasted to today is to some extent Trump administration's repeated going back on its word.
Pence's speech was originally scheduled for June but has been rescheduled for later. This reflects the internal disorder of the Trump administration. The speech would have been delivered earlier if consensus was reached within the administration.
As to what Pence would say in the speech, there could probably be contents related to questions such as the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, human rights, technology and intellectual property theft, and so on.
To deliver the speech, or not, that is the question for Pence and, essentially, for Trump's administration. In recent days, and even recent months, Pence might have been thinking about what he should say. Even though Pence doesn't want to sell old wine in a new bottle, the Trump administration is not able to produce new wine for him to peddle.
People are too familiar with the topics. Then what is the point of making such a speech? I suppose one aim is to distract US public opinion.
Amid a global backfire against Trump's decision to withdraw 1,000 troops from Syria and Turkey's attacks on the Kurdish forces, Pence has to fulfill his obligation to ease the burden on Trump and try to stabilize Trump's approval rating.
But it is hard to say if Pence will get what he wants. After all, US society is focusing on the situation in the Middle East, the impeachment inquiry into Trump, and others, which cannot be solved or affected by the Trump administration's policy toward China.
Trump doesn't have a stable policy toward China as his so-called stance against China is in service of his political purpose, which is reelection now. Not China but Trump administration's unilateral decisions will ultimately hurt the US.
Due to the chaotic politics of the US, the Trump administration's policies on China, on Europe and on the Middle East are all disordered.
Not to mention his capricious appointment for his senior level advisers - 52 of the 65 positions have undergone turnover as we pass through Year 3.