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Thanks for the update! Two niggles:

1. "Another dangerous encounter between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF)"? Our guys were dropping sonobuoys in their EEZ, which China claims as sovereign waters. Aeronautical warning flares are fully approved by, inter alia, the US FAA.

2. "Among other concerns, Beijing’s extensive and ongoing track record of trade malfeasance"?

Since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, of the 23 cases on which the US has taken China to the WTO, Washington has won 22.

Opponents of China’s WTO accession had suggested that China would use discriminatory product standards to keep out imports of industrial products; “however, there is no evidence that these practices have become a major constraint to trade in the affected categories” (USTR 2004). China was “in full compliance with its WTO commitments on trading rights for all Chinese- foreign joint ventures, wholly foreign-owned enterprises, and foreign individuals” (USTR 2005: 75).

By 2005, in advance of proposed WTO deadlines, China had eliminated all quotas, licenses, tendering requirements, and other nontariff barriers to imports of manufactured goods (Branstetter and Lardy 2006: 20). Reality contradicted “the notion that large swathes of the Chinese economy were effectively closed off to foreign competition provided the intellectual foundation for the belief that credible implementation of China’s WTO commitments would generate destabilizing shocks” (Branstetter and Lardy 2006: 5).

Since the founding of the WTO in 1995, legal action has been taken against the US 147 times, the highest number for any member. Since China joined in 2001, it has seen just 42 cases, less than half of the 91 that the US faced in the same period.

Of the seven cases in which the WTO has authorized reprisals by the winning party, six were due to the US refusing to comply with the ruling.

Particularly concerning is the US government’s malicious blocking of WTO Appellate Body appointments because it has ruled against it in multiple lawsuits. The US has not only repudiated its debts from those cases, it has also ousted the judges and is attempting to shut down the court entirely..

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