Trump opens door to investigating China's "theft" of USA intellectual property

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"This situation is beginning to develop into this generation's Cuban missile crisis moment", ING's chief Asia economist, Robert Carnell, told Reuters.

China has reiterated calls for all sides to maintain calm and reduce tensions over the Korean Peninsula.

Trump has suggested that he would go easier on China if it were more forceful in getting North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons program.

"China's been engaged in the theft and forced transfer of USA technologies and intellectual property for years", added Mr. Wessel, a former Democratic congressional staff member.

The nuclear threats of North Korea against the USA, which attract major global attention on the other hand, represent part of China's indirect response route via "hard politics". For the USA, on the other hand, exaggerating the actual threat posed by North Korea is useful to legitimize its increased geostrategic presence in the Pacific, as well as to increase its military support for key allies in the region.

Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the U.S. Therefore, China's crystallizing dominance in global production and trade networks, as well as their further extension into Eurasia through grand projects such as the Belt and Road initiative are seen as real national security challenges for the U.S. Likewise, China's massive military investments in state-of-the-art aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and stealth fighters are interpreted as part of a systematic endeavor to balance and surpass the worldwide influence of the U.S.

The officials would not confirm reports that the trade action Trump plans to initiate on Monday had been delayed more than a week, until the administration secured China's support last week to win a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council for imposing new sanctions on North Korea. While Trump officially withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Obama-era trade deal, and will begin talks next week to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, other planned trade measures have been slow to materialize. Meanwhile, 100 days of trade talks with the Chinese carried out in past months resulted in a few trade gains but not the ambitious changes the administration had hoped for. -China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan group created by Congress in 2000 to monitor trade and security issues between the world's two largest economies.

If so, Lighthizer would have "broad powers" to seek remedial action.

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S.

"We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China". That initiative sets forth a long-term plan for China's dominance in a wide variety of high-tech industries, including electric vehicles, advanced medial products and robotics.

The U.S. business community, which traditionally lobbied U.S. administrations to take a softer approach toward Beijing to protect access to a profitable market, has shifted toward a tougher stance on China in response.

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