Hong Kong ,November 20 (NIA): In an opinion piece in the South China Morning Post on Friday, James Woolsey, a senior adviser to US President- elect Donald Trump on national security and intelligence, called Washington’s spurning of the China-led multilateral lender Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as “a strategic mistake.”
Woolsey also expected a “much warmer” response From Trump to President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
The United States and Japan are the only two G7 countries that have not signed up to be AIIB members, a move viewed by Beijing as a sign of Washington’s mistrust of the Chinese government and its ambition to exert bigger regional influence.
Analysts said that if Trump backed US membership of the AIIB and endorsed China’s efforts to revive trade routes along the ancient Silk Road, it would be a big sign of goodwill from Washington to Beijing to pave the way for future agreements.
Former Chinese Vice-Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo agreed, saying that while Trump labeled China a currency manipulator and threatened trade wars, he might have a more open attitude towards China-backed institutions and investment programs.
Wei Jianguo, now a deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that if Trump embraced the AIIB, more trade and investment deals could flow between the two economies.
Daiwa Capital Markets economists, Kevin Lai and Olivia Xia, said that if Trump aborted the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), China could avoid the risks of “being shut out of a massive trade deal.” But it could also delay much-needed reforms in China.
“Without the threat from the TPP, China could continue to support inefficient state-owned enterprises to strengthen state control and impose local-content requirements on multinational companies to keep jobs in China,” Lai and Xia said.
The TPP involves 12 countries: the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.
The pact aims to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth.
Member countries are also hoping to foster a closer relationship on economic policies and regulation.
The agreement could create a new single market something like that of the EU.
(The featured image at the top is that of James Woolsey, a former CIA Director who is now advising US President- elect Donald Trump on national security)