Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sid Salter: Can Mississippi farmers navigate the path of ‘strategic ambiguity’ in China policy?

President Joseph Biden’s recent rhetoric that suggested the U.S. would defend Taiwan from attack by the People’s Republic of China caused both the White House and U.S. State Department to walk back and redefine the president’s remarks quickly.

Biden’s strong statements on behalf of Taiwan seemed to directly contradict the longtime U.S. policy regarding relations between the U.S., China, and Taiwan – an approach described as “strategic ambiguity” in which the U.S. frames their stated support for Taiwan in a calibrated way designed not to provoke China or embolden Taiwan to act against each other. “Strategic ambiguity” also allows the U.S. to maintain the ability to morph between new Sino-Taiwan developments while retaining the core posture.

In essence, since the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, the U.S. avoided comments about direct intervention between Taiwan and China. That despite pledging tacit support of the Taiwan government. At least, that was the way of things before Xi Jinping led the People’s Republic. 

After Biden’s recent remarks, the White House quickly issued a revised version of U.S. policy, which matched the more traditional position.

“The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the act, we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” the source said.

Xi Jinping has ramped up his own “One China” rhetoric and Chinese excursions into the Straights of Taiwan have become bolder and more frequent. That action is seen as a drive to unify China and assert the regional and global hegemony of China under Xi Jinping’s leadership.

So, what’s all that diplomatic posturing have to do with Mississippi farmers?

China is the third leading trading partner for Mississippi exports behind Canada and Mexico, with $759 million in value in 2020 – with that number representing a 63.8% increase over the previous year. After the 2018-2019 tariffs standoff between China and the Trump administration, that growth led to hundreds of millions in lost export revenues to Mississippi producers.

A 2020 study by Business Roundtable found that international trade supported 326,200 Mississippi jobs in 2018. The same study found that in 2018, trade with China supported 64,000 Mississippi jobs – which highlighted the need for China to abide by the commitments under the “phase one” trade agreements.

Why should this matter to Mississippians? As noted in an earlier column regarding China’s global rise, the nation’s path to superpower status is blocked most readily by its struggle to produce enough food to feed its own 1.4 billion population and influence and alleviate regional concerns over hunger and food insecurity.

China has been able in recent years to produce rice and wheat sufficient to meet the nation’s needs but still must import soybeans and corn as feedstuffs adequate to satisfy the population’s growing taste for meat.

Not only is China’s massive population problematic in producing hunger and food insecurity issues, but pollution, water aquifer depletion, and the impacts of climate change are also threatening future internal abilities to feed that nation and her allies. The loyalty of regional neighbor nations dependent on food aid also remains in the balance moving forward.

In reaction to the U.S.-China trade standoff, Mississippi (along with Indiana, Illinois, and Nebraska) in 2019 cut a trade deal with Taiwan to import about $2 billion in soybeans and corn in 2020 and 2021.

But before the trade war, about 80 percent of Mississippi’s soybean production was being sold to China. Under Biden, initial reports are that China is living up to most of its pledges on the “phase one” trade deal. That deal called for China to buy $12.5 billion. 

How vital is global trade with China? At the cost of $270 million, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dredging the lower Mississippi River along the final 250-mile stretch to the Gulf of Mexico to take the river’s depth from 45 feet to 50 feet, which will enable ships to carry 2.9 million bushels of soybeans rather than the present 2.4 million bushels per ship. That change alone is projected to bring an additional annual $461 billion in sales to the U.S. soybean industry.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

A reminder that the USA hasn’t won a war since the Spanish American War.
The US Armed forces and intelligence agencies today are nothing more than a mercenary force for global banking interests.
And we only bully nations who will not submit to the IBS and turn over their money supply to a banking family.
The rush to acquire nuclear arms is simply to prevent invasion by the golem army aka the US Marines.
The word of the United States is worthless.

Anonymous said...

To late to care I rekon ? I suggest learning how to grow and raise yourself. Then learn to shoot sticks and lead. Then prep your mind for the fall of man so you won't be surprised when that creepy neighbor decides to raid your mustard garden. And yes folks, we have come to that "point of no return" if you will. If you think ANY of our elected coast to coast can save you then you are that fool. Fine with me....I will eat something other than what they provide you. Moldy bread, bad water and empty promises.

FJB Says said...

Leave it to dimentia Joe's handlers to tell us what he really meant, but who is really behind the curtains pulling Joe's puppet strings with the nuclear codes, etc.?

Anonymous said...

All of our “allies” in Asia have already submitted to China. The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces and Japanese Parliament(Diet) put up a good front for the US Armed forces to keep that military aid money flowing. But Japanese businesses have already pivoted away from the West and toward the cashflows of Chinese interests.

Same for the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, etc.

China is building hundreds of brand new hospitals in the Philippines and stocking them with medical supplies. Something the USA hasn’t done since the early days of our puppet dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Meanwhile, we are more concerned with passing laws that prevent private business owners from stopping grown men in skirts from using the women’s restroom. And passing laws that prevent fathers from stopping mothers from giving HRT to their prepubescent sons.

Anonymous said...

9:43 : I doubt any of those idiots would know how to even use the codes but my guess the strings are being pulled by a handful of billionaires ...a couple world leaders both here and over there......the same devils who handles Obama. Soooo, Gates/Fauci for sure , simply because of mounting undeniable proof they are behind the Covid and aren't being held to account, Hunter and Joes ties to China with no accountability, The Saudis and very possibly space aliens with a hunger for human meat.

Anonymous said...

How to starve a bunch of people outside the US, shut down the Mississippi River. When it gets shutdown everyone gets bitchy from the shipping industry to the White House.

Anonymous said...

From the responses, I suspect trouble will really ensue when certain folks run into the supply chain issues when trying to fill up the single-wide with toilet paper, MREs, and ammo. Amazon is really missing out by not opening a "Whole Nuts" division. How hard could it be to start it up? Tin foil, asswipes, freeze-dried Viennas, cheese food product, and Miracle Whip, and ammo, all delivered right to your mildew-covered stoop. And if you apply for the Amazon "Horde now, pay when the assistance check arrives," you get 100 rolls of TP, a box of .22s, and 25 pounds of rice (grown in the US!), all free!

Anonymous said...

How, specifically, are the effects of climate change hindering China's ability to produce food? And please don't say droughts and flooding as if those haven't occurred for eons.

Anonymous said...

9:43 : Since KF did not allow my other comment, Satan is pulling the strings. Satan.

Anonymous said...

The will never be a face-to-face showdown between the USA and China. 3 reasons why...(1) China would win, (2) the US command structure is afraid of China, and (3) The USA is too divided to ever again unite militarily. China will take us down without ever firing a shot.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish serves only himself and the Black Saturnalia Cube, the Synagogue of Satan.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please give me an example of where Biden has EVER been right on a foreign policy issue? EVER? I'll wait.

He has a reputation of being this brilliant negotiator / strategist, but in every issue in which he's been involved, it turns out to be an abject failure!

What a complete dumb ass this guy is!

Anonymous said...

"Kingfish serves only himself and the Black Saturnalia Cube, the Synagogue of Satan."

"Only?" That's a real shame. Ya gotta hate to see old friends at odds. So what caused the rift between 'fish, the Ayatollah of Rockinrolla, and... ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Conway Twitty?

(With apologies to Seth, he'll be cool, he's a mensch...OH, WAIT! No, no he's not! No Jews! No Jews! I didn't say anything about Jews!)

Anonymous said...

3;24 pm You hit the nail on the head! Thank You Sir for pointing out what most of us know and the rest are afraid to admit!

Anonymous said...

While dementia Joe is babbling nonsense every time they let him out of the closet, the rest of the Democrats still rant about pronouns and who can piss in what bathroom.

In the meantime, China has perfected hypersonic nukes.

So Mr. Salter, a chicken farmer outside of Pelahatchie is fucked no matter what China does.

Anonymous said...

OK, so the "Chi-coms" were buying Mississippi soybeans, a long-traditional crop 'round here. Why, shucks, after 140 years of soy worship, they done took down the "Monument to the Soybean" at the Grove. Hell, "Tha Wahr a' Nawthin E-greschin" was fought, wait, that doesn't sound right. Anyway, Mississippi soybean farmers have been and are getting, inflation-adjusted, less per bushel in the last 5 years than they did in much of the 80s and 90s. Here's the solution: start selling them by the pound as "edamame" to farm-to-table Asian fusion (that's an egg roll made with turnip greens, fatback, and Krispy Kremes, deep-fried in lard and slathered in comeback made with Dorito-flavored extra-salt soy sauce) joints in the Fondren, Oxford, Starkvegas, on the coast, etc.

Why shoot, our erstwhile Commissar of Beans and shit, good ol' Andy, can fill his hat with 5 or 6 bushels and hand out samples wherever he goes. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - edamame is normally served steamed. Got it covered. Hire an intern from the MS State ag program to follow him around and whisper "mandate" and "abortion" in his ear. TA-DA! Fully steamed soybeans by the hatful!

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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