Did China Just Give Donald Trump the Middle Finger?

TPG via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

China has announced that it’s opening up its financial sector to foreign ownership:

The relaxation in the securities industry potentially paves the way for Wall Street investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase to increase their presence in China’s hard-to-crack domestic market….China will allow foreign companies to hold 51% of domestic-securities firms….The country will also remove caps for foreign stakes in Chinese banks….The government also will allow 51% foreign ownership in Chinese life-insurance companies in three years and lift that restriction entirely in five years.

That’s all well and good, but here’s the part that puzzles me:

China took a major step in opening up its financial sector, announcing a relaxation of restrictions on foreign ownership in the securities and banking sectors just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump concluded his visit to Beijing.

I’m no China tea-leaf reader, but was this calculated? Did China deliberately wait until Trump was gone so that he couldn’t hold a joint appearance with Xi Jinping crowing about it? Did the American team even know this was coming? So far, Trump has tweeted nothing about it.

Or was the timing related to domestic politics, with Xi not wanting it to look like this happened due to American pressure? But if that was the case, why not wait a few weeks so there’s not even a question about the timing?

Are there any thoughtful China watchers out there who care to chime in on this? It sure looks like a calculated slight to me, but what do I know?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate