While countries are dealing with populism internally, the world as a whole is witnessing great changes in geopolitics. Geopolitical clashes in the Middle East, between the two Koreas, and in the South China Sea, and humanitarian issues like the European migrant crisis, have made the world an unsafe place.
Sino-Japanese relations have been deteriorating since the outbreak of the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in September 2012. Today, although the worst seems to be over, the bilateral relationship remains deadlocked.
Government officials in Beijing are skeptical of Donald Trump. But they feel they can negotiate with him and need to resolve some economic disputes that have festered too long. They like him and, more importantly, they like his party better than Hillary Clinton and her party.
Wu Jianmin, one of China’s most influential and outspoken diplomats, passed away in a car accident in Wuhan on June 18, 2016. His views on China’s security environment and open opposition to expanding nationalism and populism had made him a controversial figure, winning both acclaim and abuse.
Critics have argued against supporting Donald Trump by making historical parallels between his call of banning Muslims and undocumented Hispanic immigrants from entering the US, and the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which virtually banned all Chinese immigrants from entering the US.
Chinese opinion surveys consistently show that more than 70 percent of survey respondents agree that their government is responsive to public opinion. In contrast, in the same surveys, only a little over 30 percent in democratic Taiwan feel the same way.
The domestic conditions that Trump has addressed in this US presidential election include a yearning for a restored middle class, a sense of increasing economic insecurity, and anger over wage stagnation and widening inequality. This domestic-centric sour national mood will spill over into US foreign policy.
The effectiveness of China’s new food security strategy remains doubtful, as it might turn out to be extremely difficult, if not entirely impossible, for it to achieve absolute security or self-sufficiency in staples. China’s attempts to boost staple production could bring huge economic, social and environmental costs to the country.