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Resistance to US unilateralism has spread across the world

By Chen Weihua | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-14 07:45

US President Donald Trump was furious to learn, courtesy the Sept 5 op-ed in The New York Times, that a force of resistance exists within his administration where some officials have vowed to thwart part of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

In the days that followed, Trump has lashed out at the anonymous author, labeling his or her act as "treason", and tried to dig him/her out of his administration, including pressuring the Times to reveal the author's identity. Senior White House officials have rushed to deny they penned the article.

While it's unclear whether Trump will be able to identify the author, he should not be surprised that there are people within his administration who are opposed to his policies.

Just take a look at what's happening in the United States and the world beyond.

At the ongoing Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, California Governor Jerry Brown is leading both domestic and global resistance against Trump's climate policies. The Sept 12-14 summit has brought together local government officials, business leaders and NGO chiefs who are against Trump's environmental policies. These people continue to push for a low-carbon economy even after Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord on June 1, 2017, and later scrapped the Barack Obama-era coal emission standards.

Brown has pushed for an aggressive environmental policy in his state, including signing a bill that calls for generating 100 percent of the state's electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045 and issuing an executive order requiring California to completely eliminate net emissions across the state's economy by the same year.

Brown is among a group of US governors and mayors who have pledged to stick to the 2015 Paris Agreement. Under Brown, California became the first US state to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government in 2015 on regulating carbon emission.

China and many other countries, too, are opposed to Trump's climate policies. China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment is co-hosting the China pavilion at the San Francisco summit to highlight the country's relentless efforts to combat climate change.

China has been steadily transitioning toward a low-carbon economy by moving away from coal and investing heavily in renewable energy. China launched the world's largest national carbon trading market last year, and has planted more trees and commissioned more electric buses to serve commuters.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also been resisting Trump's climate policies with many tweets on the importance and urgency of fighting climate change. He issued a statement on Monday saying he will convene a major climate summit in 2019 to bring climate action to the top of the international agenda.

Apart from the climate front, governments across the world have also been criticizing the Trump administration for withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal and for threatening to punish foreign governments that don't cut imports of Iranian oil to "zero" by Nov 4.

The US' major trade partners, such as China, the European Union, Japan and Canada, have been resisting Trump's tariff wars that are threatening the global trading system and global economic growth.

The list goes on.

When Trump presides over the UN Security Council in New York this month as chair of the council, he would see many faces of resistance against his unilateral and protectionist policies, including from close US allies in Europe.

He would see many more such faces if he chooses to speak at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly that opens on Sept 18 and would be attended by 193 member states.

The author is a columnist at China Daily. chenweihua@chinadailyusa.com

  
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