Although no official statement was issued following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in 2018. However, subsequent interviews and press conferences by the two leaders and their spokesmen have unleashed some of the salient discussions and agreements between two states. Details are given as under:
In response to the sanctions imposed by the US, Russian president Vladimir Putin has clarified that the sanctions pose no threat to Russian economy as US trade in Russian market is very less as compared to the EU. Putin hoped that business voices will call for sanctions to be lifted.
Crimea and Ukraine
The dispute between Ukraine and Russia on the separation of Crimea was the major reasons for the sanctions on Russia. Both the leaders did not agree on a resolution on the fate of Crimea as Russia’s stance is that Crimean voted in a referendum to return to Russia. Whereas, the US opinion favours Ukraine.
Both leaders agreed to bring a solution to Syrian conflict. Putin emphasized on the need to crush terrorists in south-west Syria while keeping the forces of Syria and Israel separated and Trump wanted an agreement that keeps Iranian backed militia at a fixed distance from the Israeli border creating safety for Israel. Both leaders also agreed to help in reconstruction of Syria on humanitarian basis.
Both leaders also agreed on the extension of the ‘Start treaty’ that expires in 2021, and negotiations on the ‘Intermediate Nuclear Treaty, 1987’ that banned all US and Russian ground-launched missiles of intermediate range.
US – CHINA TRADE WAR
With all of the new digital and Industrial revolution technologies coming up at the same time, a new race for global technological supremacy is heating up. The two leading contestants in this race are the United States and China. While the United States has led the world in technological innovation for many decades, China is fast closing this gap. From national strategies to foster the development of Artificial Intelligence and other key technologies to recruiting top technology talent from around the world, Beijing seems committed to becoming the world’s new technological superpower.
China is changing its growth strategy from a labor-intensive and export-driven economy to a consumption-driven economy by industrial upgrading driven by innovation and technology. Which is helping it to compete against the US on technology rather than labor-intensive products.
The change in the trade strategy is not welcomed by the US in the short term as it has made China a competitor. As a result US changed its trade policy towards China from cooperation to competition by all means. Imposition of sanctions on China is a part of it. This trade competition has now turned into a “trade war” in which both the parties are trying to control major share of international trade. US blames China’s corporations take advantage of its open markets, while China keeps its own markets closed to US products. This unfair competition results in factory closures and job losses in US Industries.
In the long run, China and US may reach a new settlement of the issue, but it will take time and need efforts from both sides. Meanwhile, tensions between the two countries could further unsettle financial markets of the world and small economies may suffer during this unannounced trade war.
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