Tensions between China and the US are heating up, over (at least) the origins of the Coronavirus, over trade and supply chain disputes, and over China’s connections with Biden and other opponents of Trump in Washington, DC
Sorcha Faal’s web site whatdoesitmean.com speculates that the unexpected death of US Air Force Colonel Thomas Falzarano may be another cause for this rise in tensions.
As reported by various sources, including military.com, on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Colonel Thomas Falzarano, the commander of the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base (AFB), Colorado, was found dead at his home Tuesday, according to Air Force officials.
Peterson AFB is the airbase connected with NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is a key part of the US strategic air defense.
To quote this military.com report
he [Col Falzarano] is believed to have died of natural causes, but an investigation is underway.
This report on Sorcha Faal’s web site speculates that Col Falzarano was murdered by assassination … Chinese assassination.
Not surprisingly, there has not been any official word suspecting China in the death of Col Falzarano.
However, Trump has sharply stepped up his anti-China rhetoric and actions in the two days since.
(1) In this Thursday, May 14 interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo, at the 37:26 mark, Maria asks Trump:
“Have you spoke with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping”.
“I have a very good relationship, but I just … right now I don’t want to speak with him. I don’t want to speak with him.”
The “good relationship” portion of that answer is a typical Trump response. The “don’t want to speak with him” seems unusual to me. Trump seems to me to be particularly pissed with Xi right now, for reasons he might not be entirely telling us.
(2) At the 37:45 mark in the same interview with Maria Bartiromo, Trump further says of China:
“We could cut off the whole relationship.”
(3) In yet more remarks in the above interview with Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he was considering forcing Chinese companies to delist from the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE), if they did not follow NYSE regulations to report their quarterly accounting results.
(4) Also on Thursday, May 14, Jonathan Garber of Fox Business reported that American Bondholder Foundation President Jonna Bianco said she had been meeting with Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss some $1.4 Trillion worth of old Chinese bonds that American Bondholder Foundation held. These bonds could be used as leverage against China, or to offset some of the US Treasury debt that China holds.
(5) On the next day, Friday, May 15, Trump announced a major technology and manufacturing win. The world’s leading semiconductor producer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) will be building a $12 billion chip factory (“fab”) in Phoenix, Arizona. This will further reduce any dependency that the US has on Chinese semiconductor fabrication.
(6) In another technology move the same day, Trump’s Department of Commerce extended the existing bans against Chinese Huawei to also prohibit Huawei from purchasing semiconductors made abroad with U.S. software and equipment.
(7) Also on Friday, May 15, Trump established a Task Force, chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to monitor enforcement of Forced Labor trade provisions in Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1307), which “prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, produced or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced or indentured child labor - including forced child labor.”
Since China may well use such forced labor, such as for example the alleged forced labor of 80,000 Uyghurs, and since Trump is clearly pissed at China, for unfair trade, for the coronavirus, and potentially for the death of Colonel Thomas Falzarano, it seems likely that China was at least one of the countries that Trump had in mind when he established this Task Force.
(8) Finally on Friday, May 15, Trump left the White House for his Camp David retreat, where he can more discretely meet with key people.
Ostensibly, he would be meeting with key Justice Department and Senate leaders, working on the rapidly escalating “Obamagate” events, or meeting with other officials to work on “Opening up America” again, ending the Coronavirus lockdown. But likely rising tensions with China were on the agenda as well.