US policy towards China not set to change after midterms

Bipartisan agreement exists on China, power over trade lies with the Executive

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President Trump (left) and Congresswoman Pelosi (right)

President Trump (left) and Congresswoman Pelosi (right) (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The people of China have expressed hope that the new Democrat-majority U.S. House of Representatives will soften U.S. policy towards China, but experts say this will not be the case.

The U.S. midterm elections concluded yesterday with the Democratic Party taking the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, while the Republican Party still maintained a firm grip on the Senate.

The change is likely to make things more difficult for President Donald Trump to implement his domestic goals. Democrats can start to block legislative agenda and force Republican senators to confront sensitive topics such as social welfare. Trump may also finally have to answer to questions on personal spending, tax returns, and corruption.

When it comes to international trade, however, things are likely to remain the same. The power to implement trade tariffs lies solely with the Executive, and Donald Trump shows no sign of relenting in the ongoing conflict with China.

Even if Trump were to require congressional support for China policy in the future, the Democrat-led House is unlikely to stand in his way. Generally, a bipartisan agreement exists on the Communist state.

Eyes have fallen on Democrat Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi in China, who currently appears to be top pick for House Speaker (even by Trump himself) despite past vilification by the Republican Party. Speaker of the House plays an influential role in Congress, navigating legislative rules and organizing debate to advantage their priorities.

Throughout her career, however, Pelosi has been heavily critical of China’s treatment towards its own people. The congresswoman encouraged the international community to denounce China for its crackdown in Tibet in 2008, and rebuffed Chinese pressure to avoid meeting “dissidents” during her state trip in 2009. Pelosi went on to visit human rights leaders in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The prospects of reviving a positive U.S.-China relationship seem so dire, even China-leaning Forbes Magazine, sold to a CPP-supporting enterprise in 2014, published a piece on Nov. 5 entitled, “Dear Chinese Government, the Democrats Won’t Save You.”

U.S. policy towards Taiwan is also unlikely to be brought into question. Despite official statements from Washington declaring the U.S. still supports the one-China policy, the government’s treatment of the island appears to be continually improving.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to Taiwan as a country on Nov. 5 in talks about sanctions against Iran. American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty also reaffirmed that the U.S. will continue to be friendly towards Taiwan.

Three Taiwanese-Americans, all Democrats, were victorious in the midterm elections, leading Taiwan officials to declare that Taiwan now has allies in the Senate.