Michael Pillsbury: Trump Has Not Reversed His Position on Huawei

The Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s critics are wrong to say his administration has reversed itself on Huawei, China expert Michael Pillsbury said on Monday.

President Trump and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping agreed over the weekend to reopen trade talks between the two countries. The U.S. reportedly agreed to hold off on further tariffs hikes and to allow some U.S. companies to receive licenses sell some products to Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant placed on the restricted “entities list” last month.

“A lot of Trump’s critics the last couple days are mischaracterizing what he has done,” Pillsbury said. “He has not reversed himself on Huawei at all. This is quite a brilliant idea.”

Pillsbury, the author of the groundbreaking examination of Chinese economic and political strategy The 100 Year Marathon, was responding to charges from China critics that President Trump had given up too much by allowing Huawei to resume purchases of U.S. technology.

“The super-hawks are now attacking the president for concessions and for reversing himself. This is just fake news,” Pillsbury said in an interview on the Fox Business Network with Charles Payne.

Pillsbury pointed out that while the Commerce Department can grant licenses to companies, and may grant some as early as this week, it can also refuse these if China turns uncooperative in trade talks.

Pillsbury said that Senator Marco Rubio’s tweet over the weekend was not an attack on Trump but a criticism of a policy that did not reflect reality.

“I read Marco Rubio’s tweet. He said ‘if such and such had been done, then it would be a catastrohpic mistake. So he is obviously open to clarification of what has been done. Obviously, a total endorsement of Huawei would be a catastrophic mistake. That isn’t what the president has done at all.”

Pillsbury criticized Senator Chuck Schumer, who tweeted an attack President’s Trump’s decision to allow sales to Huawei in a tweet over the weekend.

“Chuck Schumer has set himself up very cleverly so that he’s tougher than Trump–rhetorically, in terms of words,” Pillsbury said. “But when Chuck Schumer was involved in this in the Senate for 20 years, he never did anything. Never passed any legislation, never got talks going with the Chinese.”

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