Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 6 April 2018


  • Trade Fight Mounts as Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs
  • Pakistan Fought ‘made in America jihad’ after 9/11, Kh Asif tells National Assembly
  • Indonesia Invites 50 Ulemas to Promote Tolerant Islam

Trade Fight Mounts as Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had instructed U.S. trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs against China, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world’s two biggest economies. The further tariffs were being considered “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against earlier U.S. trade actions, which included a proposed $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump said in a White House statement. Financial markets, unsettled for days by the trade fight and Trump’s management of it, whipsawed again on the new threat. After a bullish regular trading day, U.S. equity futures sold off sharply in after-market-hours trading. In his statement, Trump said the U.S. Trade Representative had determined that China “has repeatedly engaged in practices to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.” Earlier this week, the Trump administration proposed 25 percent tariffs on 1,300 Chinese industrial and other products. China shot back with a list of similar proposed duties on American imports, including soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals. “Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” the Republican president said. The tit-for-tat tariff announcements have stirred fears that the two countries will spiral into a trade war that will crush global growth. Republican lawmakers from Western and Midwestern states have voiced worries about a big hit to U.S. farming exporters. On the new tariff threat, Republican Senator Ben Sasse said in a statement: “Hopefully the president is just blowing off steam again but, if he’s even half-serious, this is nuts.  “China is guilty of many things, but the president has no actual plan to win right now. He’s threatening to light American agriculture on fire. Let’s absolutely take on Chinese bad behavior, but with a plan that punishes them instead of us. This is the dumbest possible way to do this,” said the lawmaker from the farm-belt state of Nebraska. [Source: Reuters]

Ever since Trump won the election, his strategy towards China has often shifted. Now Trump is threatening China with a full-scale trade war. Combined with the rhetoric over North Korea and placement of military assets in the Asian Pacific it remains to be seen whether Trump engages in coercive diplomacy or uses the military option to contain the Chinese dragon.


Pakistan Fought ‘made in America jihad’ after 9/11, Kh Asif tells National Assembly

A few days ago Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan fought ‘made in America jihad’ after 9/11, adding that the whole world knows who is behind Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS). Speaking in National Assembly, Khawaja Asif alleged that the leaders signed agreement and sold the country for their own interests. He said that the ‘super power’ is in Afghanistan and its 43 percent of the area is occupied by Taliban. He said that Pakistan has refused to become proxy of America in Afghanistan, asserting that Pakistan will only protect its own interest from now. Khawaja Asif revealed that we didn’t participate in Yemen war due to internal security threats to Pakistan as we don’t want to become part in any anarchy. He said that innocent people of Syria and Iran are being killed in the name of so-called power. In a written reply in the House, Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif said after a negative tweet of the US President, Pakistani leadership decided that Pakistan’s response would be measured. He said that National Security Committee in its meetings afterwards took stock of the entire situation.  Khawaja Asif said, during recent high-level engagements with the visiting US delegations, they were told that the unwarranted allegations by the US President belie the cooperative history of the relationship, which served mutual interests in the region. The minister said despite the accusations, Pakistan remains committed to the stability of region and supports all efforts towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. [Source: Dunyanews]

The foreign minister is once again behaving in a delusional manner. On the one hand Asif acknowledges that America is behind the terrible troubles plaguing the Islamic world including Afghanistan and Pakistan. And yet Asif still wants to engage with the America in return for securing Pakistan’s borders and interest. As long as Pakistan appoints civil and military leaders that have been defeated by the international order imposed by the US, Pakistanis will have no respite.


Indonesia Invites 50 Ulemas to Promote Tolerant Islam

The government will bring 50 ulemas from various countries to attend a High-Level Consultation of World Muslim Ulemas and Islamic Scholars in Bogor, West Java, which is scheduled to be held in May. Presidential special envoy for inter-religion dialogue and partnership Din Syamsuddin said in the conference, Indonesia would promote an Islam that was moderate and tolerant to the world. He was speaking after he reported progress of the preparation of the meeting to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Thursday. President Jokowi is scheduled to open the conference at Bogor Palace on May 1. Vice President Jusuf Kalla will attend the closing ceremony scheduled for May 3. The former chairman of Indonesia’s second-largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, said as an envoy, he was mandated to promote Al-Wasatiyyah (moderation) as the agenda of Muslims in Indonesia that was based on the principle of Islam as “rahmatan lil’alamin”, or “blessing for the whole world and its content”. “This is Islam that takes a middle road with its characteristics: moderate, tolerant, open and many others,” said Din. He said some of the ulemas to be invited were not from Muslim-majority countries, such as Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Around 50 ulemas representing various organizations in Indonesia will also be invited to attend the conference. “We will invite them all regardless of which groups they come from and what sect their teachings belong to,” said Din.  [Source: The Jakarta Post]

Spearheaded by Saudi Arabia’s desire to reform Islam, other Islamic countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh are following suit. Islam does not need moderation or reformation, it needs a proper state to implement Sharia domestically and carry the Islamic message to the world. Only the re-establishment of the rightly guided Khilafah (Caliphate) can accomplish this.