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No room for optimism in all-out US-China trade war

24 11 22
16.01.2019

Much is being discussed with regard to the US and China seeking a resolution to the ongoing trade war. With representatives meeting, commentators seem optimistic about a solution. Though the optics look encouraging, any agreements should be viewed as short-lived. A resumption of harsher measures, especially from the US, is the most likely scenario.

First, this trade war should be viewed as a tactic in the overall China containment strategy; the ultimate aim of the US is to halt China’s rise. Yet America has never had an economic peer competitor. Its previous conflict with the USSR was fought on ideological grounds.

What’s more, winning or losing the trade war has different requirements for each party. From a US perspective, to win, it needs full Chinese capitulation. From a Chinese perspective, winning means the ability to remain standing. It is hard to see the latter submitting.

On the whole, the US is in the unenviable position of being damned if it does and damned if it doesn't, with respect to the rise of China. Fundamentally, the US believes China is stealing from it.

The rhetoric around forced technology transfers is........

© South China Morning Post