“Stop stealing our intellectual property, stop forcing technology transfers, stop hacking our computers, stop dumping into our markets and putting our companies out of business, stop state-owned enterprises from heavy subsidies, stop the [importation of] fentanyl [and] stop the currency manipulation,” Navarro told host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

On Fox News, Peter Navarro told that China should stop the importation of fentanyl, but my question is does the U.S. government think China is willingly closing its eyes on the importation of fentanyl by criminal groups? If so, is there a political process by which the veracity of this claim is verified? If such claims are not verified, then how is diplomacy possible?

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    The short answer is no. There is no standard process for doing so. – ohwilleke Aug 5 '19 at 18:50
  • You've tagged this with political-theory. Are you looking for answers based on philosophic or scientific theory? And are you already familiar with intersubjectivity? – indigochild Aug 16 '19 at 3:14

how is diplomacy possible?

Well, let's walk through the possibilities:

  1. There are no Chinese criminal groups involved. State owned businesses in China are exporting fentanyl to the United States. In this case, China could stop it easily and China would be aware of the export.
  2. Privately owned Chinese businesses are exporting fentanyl to the US. China could do more to investigate and catch these businesses, possibly including extraditing people to the US for prosecution.
  3. Organized crime in China is smuggling fentanyl into the US that is produced legally in China. China could require businesses that produce fentanyl to better track where it is going and cut off the smugglers' supply. China could also do more to investigate and catch the smugglers themselves, possibly including extraditing people to the US for prosecution.
  4. Organized crime in China is both smuggling and illegally producing fentanyl. China could do more to investigate and catch the smugglers, possibly including extraditing people to the US for prosecution.
  5. The US is wrong about the fentanyl coming from China. China, being innocent, shares as much data as necessary, including allowing US inspectors onto ships that the US thinks are involved in smuggling fentanyl from China.
  6. The US is wrong about the fentanyl coming from China. China, while innocent of that, is doing something else that it wants to conceal from the US. China refuses to give the data/access needed to exonerate it. This is more complicated, but China would need to find a way to give the increased access.

It's not clear to me where a political process could be applied. What is needed is a diplomatic process, where the US and China agree on the problem and on steps required to fix it. In the first possibility (which is the one that the US government believes is true), China could simply decide to eliminate or at least reduce the fentanyl export to the US. In the next three possibilities, China could extradite people to the US to demonstrate that it is cooperating. In the last two, China would give the US increased access to its shipping so as to demonstrate that fentanyl smuggling was not occurring.

Assuming that China wants to convince the US that it is not involved in fentanyl export to the US, the diplomatic solution is rather straightforward. China needs to do at least one of the following:

  1. Reduce the amount of fentanyl being exported to the US.
  2. Extradite criminals involved in fentanyl smuggling to the US for prosecution.
  3. Allow the US increased access to shipping from Chinese ports to look for fentanyl smuggling.

It's up to China which of these it pursues as part of a diplomatic process.

A purely political process is not going to be able to exonerate China, as it would tend to be run by the same people who are currently of the opinion that China is exporting fentanyl to the US. Presumably they are already engaged in investigations that lead them to that belief. New information is needed, and that new information would have to come from China in order to move the investigation towards other possibilities.

If China and the US are operating from different premises, then they need, diplomatically, to find a way to allow each other to check if the other's premises are correct.

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    If the ships are arriving at US ports, doesn't the US already have all the authorisation it needs to do border checks for smuggled goods? Or is this one of those "you're checking out boats more than anyone else, play fair" problems? – Jontia Aug 6 '19 at 7:18
  • The US can check the ships if they go to a regular port. It can't check (for example) if the ships release their smuggled goods before making port. Or if the ships transship in a Latin American country. Or... I'm working under the assumption that smugglers are a little more clever than that. – Brythan Aug 6 '19 at 12:50
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    The US can board and inspect these ships even if they are not in a port, and a far as I'm aware they do. – phoog Aug 6 '19 at 15:26

I think we all know there is no such thing as an international governing body of truth. :D

So let's get to your real question: How is diplomacy possible? (under the tag political theory)

My dear fellow, read the book!!!

It is not only possible, it IS diplomacy.

In Art of the Deal, President Trump advocates the strategy of making BIG BOMBASTIC openers to stake out position and create room for maneuvering during negotiation.

This is a strategy he uses time and time again, to telling and stunning effects.

During his campaign he said he would build the Wall and Mexico would Pay for it. Does anyone actually believe Mexico was ever going to pay for the wall? Of course not. But he made a big claim, he will build the wall AND Mexico will pay for it. Now he is building the wall, and no one cares if Mexico is paying for it.

He said he would flatten North Korea Multiple times. And that brought Kim to the negotiating table.

With the fentanyl position, it is actually genius. If China doesn't do a deal, he can say "Those Chinese, those chinese, I am telling you, you have to believe me when I say, they want to kill us! They want to kill us with Fentanyl. And this is why we can't do a deal with them. (And people would applaud) And if there is a deal, he can say, "my good friend President xi, who i deeply respect, who loves his country as much as I love mine, has agreed to a trade deal. And it is a very good deal, believe me, a fantastic deal." (he then has the option to talk about fentanyl or not) Genius!

This is a different kind of next level diplomacy, and no one should take any of his claims overly seriously. If you do, you would go crazy and lose to the stable genius.

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