Beijing is more than pleased about Donald Trump turning his back on a major U.S.-led Pacific trade pact.
Ian Bremmer, president of the global intelligence firm Eurasia Group and a closely watched political scientist, said Wednesday that officials in China are excited about President-elect Trump's plan to withdraw from U.S. participation in the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership. The proposed free-trade bloc would have included 12 countries accounting for more than a third of global trade.
President Barack Obama and others had argued that the TPP deal was a way for the United States to continue to assert its leadership — especially in the face of an increasingly powerful China that is eager to replace the U.S. as the main power in the region. Trump's apparent killing of the TPP creates a geopolitical vacuum in the eyes of both Beijing and American allies, Bremmer said.
"This means that everyone in Asia no longer sees the United States as a credible leader, so they have to go to China for leadership," Bremmer told CNBC. "There's a little bit of triumphalism in Beijing."
Others have pointed out that the demise of the TPP means that China now will likely set standards for a major portion of the globe when it comes to environmental laws, intellectual property rights and labor protections — all principles for which Beijing has demonstrated little commitment.