How a Beijing think tank rated senior White House advisers' views on China
President Trump flanked by Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, New York City, Aug. 15, 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
In a report dated June 29, 2019, Beijing-based D&C Think examined the views of President Trump's top advisers on China.
Why it matters: The report's findings, while subjective, provide a glimpse into the increased emphasis that many in Beijing are placing on reading the tea leaves of the White House.
The think tank's researchers put forward the following conclusions:
- A hardline attitude is not universal among top White House officials.
- Three Cabinet positions in particular tend to have officials who hold friendlier views, in the report's estimation — the treasury, agriculture and transportation secretaries (currently held by Steve Mnuchin, Sonny Perdue and Elaine Chao, respectively).
- The trade war is primarily being pushed by officials in charge of strategy and national security, rather than those who are responsible for trade.