US-China Trade War

Battles lines drawn between the world's two largest economies
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Background and explainers on the trade war between China, led by President Xi Jinping, and the United States, and its President Donald Trump. Having started in July 2018, the prolonged conflict reached a turning point in January 2020 with the signing of the phase one trade deal, but not after it had weighed heavily on the global economy for 18 months due to additional import tariffs levied by both China and the US. The US has accused China of unfair trading practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, lack of market access for American companies in China and creating an unlevel playing field through state subsidies of Chinese companies. China, meanwhile, believes the US is trying to restrict its rise as a global economic power....more
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In pursuance of China’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint, regulators are moving to cut crude steel production. This would also address US concerns about Chinese overproduction in the steel industry.
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While the Trump administration had no problem ‘haggling over the price of chickens’ with Beijing, Biden’s team seems focused on the re-establishment of a broader US negotiating position.
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The United States and China are at loggerheads over a host of issues and their respective governments are doing all they can to build alliances with like-minded partners.
Both sides should focus on the economic and trade issues that have long anchored the US-China relationship. That doesn’t mean dismissing other tough issues, but re-establishing common ground and trust before expanding the agenda.
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Instead of sanctions, let’s call for a moral quid pro quo between the Americans and Chinese to end all the bad things they have done respectively in Yemen and Xinjiang.
SCMP ColumnistAlex Lo
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Once the posturing and rhetoric subsided, both sides rightly realised that the way forward for now lies in finding common ground and exploring the possibility of working together on issues of shared interest
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Reports that top diplomats from China and the United States may meet soon offer hope of an easing of tensions and a better understanding between the two nations.
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Although China’s economy is well on its way to recovery, global growth remains lacklustre. Beijing must work towards boosting domestic demand and burying the hatchet with Washington over trade.
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The US likes to claim it is the world’s greatest democracy and engine of wealth – gospels which must be spread around the world. Current news headlines say otherwise.
SCMP ColumnistAlex Lo
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Challenges abound for the World Trade Organization, but the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in the wake of the new US administration creates a pathway for the return of multilateralism
Other countries prefer to stay neutral amid the intense jockeying for influence between China and the US. The only way they can achieve that is to join hands in pushing back attempts by either power to use them as a pawn against the other.
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Anti-China sentiment has to be put aside at virtual meeting of world’s most industrialised nations in the grip of crippling pandemic, economic grief and climate crisis.
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