A variety of political and security factors will complicate any effort to resolve the escalating trade spat between China and the United States. In gauging the current predicament, decision-makers in both China and the U.S. should consider the bigger picture in order to avoid the disastrous consequences of an extended trade war or—far worse—an actual war.
Despite the trade conflict with China, the U.S. economy continues to perform well, thanks in part to a fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts and increased expenditures. By 2019, however, the negative effects of trade protection are likely to outweigh these benefits, which may put pressure on U.S. leaders to accept a face-saving resolution.
After the Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un, President Trump declared that North Korea was no longer a threat to the United States. Jeffrey Bader and Ryan Hass examine the claim and discuss developments that have taken place since the meeting.
U.S.-China relations under strain from multiple angles. In an extensive three-part interview with Voice of America (in Chinese: part 1, part 2, part 3), Cheng Li discusses the tense state of U.S.-China relations, the issues pitting the countries at odds (especially trade and Taiwan), and the possible paths forward.
China stands to benefit most from U.S.-North Korea détente. “China would like to see a reduction in [U.S.] military forces in Northeast Asia and a widening of the gap between the United States and its allies and partners,” Ryan Hass tells Newsweek. “Beijing is now on track to achieve these objectives at little cost.”
Apple could become target in U.S.-China trade war. With the iPhone making up a 9% share of China’s smartphone market, David Dollar tells The Wall Street Journal that Apple “should be nervous” over the prospect of a worsening trade dispute between China and the United States.
Beijing appears emboldened on the world stage. China’s recent demand that airlines amend their websites to classify Taiwan and other locations as parts of China has put U.S.-based carriers in a political and economic bind. Cheng Li tells The Washington Post that the order evinces Xi Jinping’s broader goal of asserting China’s power on the global stage.
About The China Center
The John L. Thornton China Center develops timely, independent analysis and policy recommendations to help U.S. and Chinese leaders address key long-term challenges, both in terms of U.S.-China relations and China's internal development.