China-US friction is gradually slipping into increasingly dangerous areas, so that the “trade war” is no longer enough to describe the conflict between the two countries. However, this week, the outside world focused on the exchanges between Chinese and American deputy ministers in the United States, and the other side held a year of US-Japan trade negotiations. Recently, there have been repeated signals that the two countries will sign an agreement during the UN General Assembly in late September.
Quickly broke the day
In March 2018, Trump announced that it would impose tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum products on the grounds of “impeding national security,” and exempted Japan from exemptions from major allies. In May of the same year, the United States launched an investigation into whether imported cars “threaten national security.” After several setbacks, Trump will make a decision on whether to impose a 25% tariff on imported cars in November this year. In the past year, the core of several talks between the two sides was that the United States hoped that Japan would relax the import threshold of the agricultural products market, and Japan hoped to avoid the United States impose tariffs on Japanese cars.
Trump’s tariff offensive is global. Faced with this situation, the ways of coping with each other are also different. China knows that China and the United States are more involved in many strategic and political games, so the coping style is the most tough; on the one hand, the EU persuades the White House through various channels, on the other hand, it is also actively preparing corresponding means of retaliation; on the other hand, the attitude of Japan is even more humble. “:
At the end of August, the US and Japan leaders reached a “principle of consensus” at the G7 summit. In the three areas of agricultural products, industrial products and digital economy, Japan will adjust the tariffs on US agricultural products to the level applicable to the countries signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Specific to the beef and dairy trade that the parties are most concerned about, Japan will reduce the current 38.5% tariff on US beef in a phased manner. It is expected to be reduced to 9% in April 2033, and Japanese private companies will purchase 250. Ten thousand tons of American agricultural products. In contrast, according to media reports such as the Nikkei News and Tokyo News, Washington will promise not to increase the tariffs on Japanese cars, but to maintain 2.5% of the current passenger cars and 25% of the passenger cars. Tax level. The two countries are expected to sign an agreement during the UN General Assembly in late September. The White House has notified the Congress last week and announced the notified text on September 17.
For this situation, the US wants to be satisfied. The Trump administration frequently “retires” and uses its multi-faceted strength in a bilateral framework to “squeeze” revenues to countries one by one. There are also drawbacks to this approach. After the White House has rushed to announce the withdrawal of the TPP, how to ensure the competitiveness of US agricultural products in the Asia-Pacific market has been a very difficult problem. Nowadays, due to the threat of tariffs, it has signed an agreement with Japan to minimize the negative impact of “returning the group” on the farmer’s trade. The purchase of US agricultural products by Japanese companies can also alleviate the pressure of China-US trade wars. It can be described as “empty gloves and white wolves”. The ideal result.
For this reason, the Abe government has been criticized for some “over-concession.” However, politics can never be calculated in the form of 1+1=2.
Pave the way for foreign affairs to prepare for the final sprint
For Abe, it is necessary to appease the United States with appropriate concessions. Only a sound external environment can provide him with sufficient room to carry out domestic government affairs. When we look at Japan as the center, we will find a particularly noteworthy situation: Abe has made a good for domestic and foreign development for the sake of life.
I still remember that at the G20 summit held in Da Nang, Vietnam in November 2017, Abe personally visited Xi Jinping, and Xi Jinping also warmly welcomed each other. Since then, China-Japanese relations have been moderated. Over the years, relations between the two countries have been affected by geopolitical and historical reasons, and they have been “hot and politically cold” all the year round. However, as China’s national strength is growing and taking on an increasingly important international role, China-US relations tend to be tense. At this time, ensuring the stability of relations with neighboring countries is a major task for Beijing. In contrast, the Trump administration is against the traditional American allies system. The subversion of the strategic layout of the Western Pacific, as well as the combined strength of China and the United States and the influence of the two countries on the Asia-Pacific region, have led Japan to reassess its China policy. Therefore, in the past two years, the sharp shift in China-Japanese relations has not only been in the interests of the two countries, but also has a bearing on the strategic transformation of the Abe administration.
While maintaining the government in a way of “concession when concessions are made, avoiding friction between Japan and the United States”, we will actively contact Beijing and expand cooperation in the framework of the Belt and Road by investing in the development of third-country markets. Tokyo has been in the past two years. Both China-Japanese and US relations have achieved good results.
At this time, let’s take a look at the new cabinet reorganization completed by Abe in September: On the one hand, the two important positions of the finance minister and the cabinet chief executive will continue to be held for many years by Aso and Taro, and the situation will be stabilized; Junichiro Koizumi, the second son of Junichiro Koizumi, served as the Minister of the Environment and wooed the potential opposition forces within the party. On the other hand, the former Minister of Economy Mao Mumin, who was “consistent with Abe”, was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The controversial transfer of Mr. Kono, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the Minister of Defence can be interpreted as Abe’s isolation and exclusion from potential competitors. It can also be seen as Abe’s responsibility for this outstanding ability, especially considering the defense. The position of minister is bound to be extremely important in the coming years.
In the final analysis, Abe, who will soon become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister after World War II, is known for his combination of rigidity and flexibility and perseverance. The ultimate goal of his political career is to amend Article 9 of the Constitution and promote the normalization of Japan’s state. Abe’s remarks about this, he said after the reshuffle of the cabinet, “To fulfill our party’s long-cherished wish to correct the constitution, the whole party will unanimously and vigorously advance its progress.” In this regard, whether it is his concessions to the United States, the repair of China, or the personnel arrangement of this round of reorganization of the cabinet, it shows his political determination and the direction of Japanese politics in the next few years.