US-China relations: Trump administration’s Chinese advisers could create more uncertainty, observers


Miles Yu is a professor of East Asia and military history at the US Naval Academy and advises the US State Department. Photo: Handout
  • People like Miles Yu, an adviser to Mike Pompeo, and Mung Chiang, who works with the US foreign office, are known for their anti-Beijing feelings

  • ‘They have a fairly deep understanding of China, and were picked at a time when the US decided to get tough on China,’ academic says

The appointment of several China-born advisers with unfavourable opinions of Beijing is indicative of Washington’s tough approach to US-China relations and could lead to further uncertainty, observers say.

People like Miles Yu – an adviser to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – and foreign policy adviser Mung Chiang have come under attack from the Chinese media because of their hardline positions.

The nationalist tabloid Global Times recently described Yu as a hostile “fanatic” who wants to see the downfall of the Chinese Communist Party.

Such reports are in stark contrast to Chinese media articles of the past that celebrated people with Chinese ancestry who had achieved positions of power, like the former US ambassador to China Gary Locke and the incumbent US Transport Secretary Elaine Chao.

Shi Yinhong, a specialist on US affairs at Renmin University in Beijing, said the current batch of advisers had played a role in shaping Trump’s confrontational strategy towards China.

“They understand Chinese and have a fairly deep understanding of China, and they were picked at a time when the US decided to get tough on China,” he said.

“They have played very negative roles in US-China ties, but they have not caused the largest impact.”


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