A week before the Osaka G20, Mike Pence was dismayed to learn that his big moment had been delayed – indefinitely.
Earlier that month, the vice president was gearing up to deliver a hawkish foreign policy speech to mark the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square.
The address, initially planned for June 4, would have found Mike decrying China’s human rights record, in the process paving the way for the US to slap sanctions on Chinese surveillance companies including Hikvision, which would be subject to a Huawei-style ban. Plans for those sanctions initially came to light on May 21, and finally came to fruition earlier this month.
Read more: Mike Pence Was All Fired Up To Exacerbate The New Cold War — And Then Trump Stopped Him
Ultimately, Mike’s big day was rescheduled for June 24, and then pushed back again amid “signs of progress” ahead of the Trump-Xi pow wow in Japan.
Obviously, Pence’s speech had the potential to inflame tensions with China at a delicate juncture and some worried it would be the death knell for trade talks. Trump, fearing the address would jeopardize the G20 meeting, postponed Pence’s speech.
Fast forward four months and Mike’s speech is back on, by God. According to an administration official who spoke to Reuters, Pence will deliver a “major” address regarding US policy towards China next Thursday.
US stocks immediately crashed to session lows.
The dismay is justified. Over the past two weeks, the US has accused China of human rights violations on three occasions.
Ahead of the latest round of trade talks, the Trump administration pulled the trigger on Hikvision, blacklisting the surveillance colossus and more than two-dozen Chinese public security bureaus and companies, citing Beijing’s treatment of the Uighurs. The next day, Trump imposed a travel ban, citing the same human rights concerns. Earlier this week, House lawmakers passed several bills in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, prompting an angry response from the Mainland.
Pence’s speech will exacerbate all of that – and then some.
The vice president’s track record when it comes to foreign policy speeches is either sterling or abysmal, depending on whether you’re enamored with condescending proclamations about what America will and won’t tolerate from other nations – especially China. Pence famously blew up APEC last November and his world tour in February was a comedy of errors.
As details of this speech leak (which they invariably will) they will be parsed quickly by the market for clues as to whether he intends to take the opportunity to enshrine the “Pence doctrine” into the history books, thereby deep-sixing the trade truce, only this time, for good.
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2 thoughts on “Mike Pence To Deliver Long-Threatened China Speech Next Week. That’s Bad News”
One can only hope,
Pence is in a unique position, to theoretically be indicted for obstruction of justice, this serving as a symbolic domino, in chain of events down the road. It is possible that the impeachment inquiry will extend beyond next years election, an election that most likely will be won by the thinnest of razor margins by trump and apparently pence. However, as the impeachment clock ticks forward for the next year, and as more evidence is gathered in a long-lasting process, the GOP will more than likely be held accountable for most of their sins in a post-election impeachment period. In the next year, as more layers of dirt are uncovered, exposing vast corruption, the GOP Senate will lose power and many of their surefire candidates will be sent home in shame, as they watch justice prevail. In what might be an odd compromise, the GOP will have to fill the shoes of both trump and pence.
Recall that: The line of succession follows the order of: vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives, president pro tempore of the Senate, and then the eligible heads of federal executive departments who form the president’s Cabinet.
Does it matter if Moscow Mitch is reelected in 2020, as evidence mounts against trump and the GOP?
The impeachment inquiry, as Pelosi has recently said, has no time limit — but is an inquiry like a grand jury, has about a thirty-six month limit (which can be extended) — or, is an inquiry by the House something that can be played with all through next year? Looks like instead of wrapping up fast, Pelosi is taking the football away from the Senate and putting it in the hands of voters.
See: H. RES. 396 (among others)
Authorizing and directing the Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise the power vested by article 1, section 2, clause 5 of the Constitution in respect to acts of misconduct by Donald John Trump, President of the United States.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 22, 2019
Ms. Jackson Lee (for herself, Mr. Castro of Texas, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Cohen) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules
Sec. 2. The committee shall report to the House of Representatives such resolutions, articles of impeachment, or other recommendations as it deems proper.
Sec. 3. (a) For the purpose of making such investigation, the committee, as it deems necessary to such investigation, is authorized to require–
(1) by subpoena or otherwise–
Subpoenas and interrogatories so authorized may be issued over the signature of the chairman, and may be served by any person designated by the chairman, or any member designated by the chairman, blah, blah, blah …