Monday (July 27th): Houston, we have a problem…

Donald Trump

Name? Donald Trump

Westphalian identity? US American

Age? 74

Why is he in the news? President Trump is attempting to resuscitate his reelection campaign with a hardline stance against China. The latest in this stance is his administration’s decision to close the Chinese consulate in Houston.

Why do we care? While conflict and competition in U.S.-China relations is anything but new, labelling such hostilities as the newest ‘Cold War’ should not be taken lightly. No longer are the disputes simple and solvable, but they now exist as a clash of systems, values, and most annoyingly, egos!

Why should you care? When the two biggest economies, militaries, and egos fight, no one wins. Should this new Cold War between Trump and Xi continue to escalate, other world leaders will be forced to choose sides and their decision to do so will quite quickly impact your life. Say goodbye to cheap fries and t-shirts!

Who else cares? Xi Jinping. It’s been a rough year for all of us but Xi has had it especially difficult. First, Trump signed a document supporting the Hong Kong protestors. Second, Trump labelled Covid as the Chinese virus and Australia began a WHO inquiry into China’s handling of the virus. And then, when Xi retaliated and kicked out a couple of journalists, Trump went even further to close a Chinese consulate. Not to mention the barring of Huawei, the entirety of their trade war, or Trump’s affairs with Kim Jong Un and Putin.

Any further comments? The consulate faculty were forced to leave due to speculation of stealing trade secrets. This speculation wasn’t exactly proven false when Chinese consulate employees began burning papers. While the actions of the consulate employees, as well as those of Trump’s campaign strategists, should not be overlooked, it’s important to note the implicit implications of closing a consulate in the midst of a New Cold War: fewer diplomats = fewer discussions = more room for misunderstanding.

Sarah McFadden

Team Member of Research & Analysis