11:11 GMT +323 March 2017
    Chinese students hold a puppet depicting a dragon and  wave their national flags

    Will Beijing Come Out on Top in Possible US-Chinese Trade War?

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    US President-elect Donald Trump's election promises to impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports and his decision to pick "China hawk" Peter Navarro as head of the newly created White House National Trade Council prompted a heated debate over the possibility of a trade war between Washington and Beijing.

    Donald Trump's election promises to impose high tariffs on Chinese goods and to bring American manufacturing jobs back from China have prompted speculation that the US President-elect is seeking to launch a trade war against Beijing.

    "The possibility of a potential trade war between China and the US after Trump takes office has come under heated discussion," Professor Li Haidong of the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University noted in his Sunday op-ed for The Global Times.

    The Chinese academic called attention to the fact that Trump nominated American economist Peter Navarro, a vocal critic of China, as a head of the newly created White House National Trade Council.

    "Given the current policymaking atmosphere in the US as well as Trump's picks of advisers, the US has a strong desire to make a major confrontational policy adjustment in its trade with China in the future. However, it still remains uncertain if the adjustment will directly lead to a trade war," Li underscored.

    However, according to James Wang, a City University of Hong Kong professor, a trade war between Washington and Beijing is a "distinct capability."

    "The balance of power worldwide is much more diffuse compared to the early 20th century, and players like China and India have emerged to create new political centers of gravity," Wang wrote in Pine River China Fund's investor letter as quoted by Bloomberg.

    "However, as economic and political paralyses spread across the developed world, the most likely outcome is a trade war," he stressed.

    Furthermore, Wang argues that Beijing stands a pretty good chance of outstripping the US in this war.

    CNTV Asia-Pacific Commentator Tom McGregor also believes that a trade war between the two geopolitical powers is quite possible.

    In one of his recent interviews with Radio Sputnik McGregor pointed out that Trump is seeking to solve the US' trade deficit problem.

    "Trump is looking for boosting jobs, boosting the economy and he promised on the campaign trail that he was going to fight for those jobs by picking tough trade measures against other countries," McGregor said, adding that Navarro's selection clearly indicates that the US President-elect will reshape the Sino-American trade relations.

    Still, McGregor believes that Beijing will tackle the problem.

    In one of his previous interviews the CNTV commentator noted that the Chinese are "brilliant strategists."

    "Basically, the understanding is that if there is going to be a trade war that China is not going to become more internalized, it will focus more on Chinese consumer spending rather than exports," he told Radio Sputnik.

    "[Saving] face is a very big deal [in China]… So obviously if Trump starts a trade war they have to respond… But it's not a terrible thing because they already have a plan B that even though they may respond and they are likely to respond it's not going to harm them like many people think it will," McGregor stressed.

    The CNTV commentator underscored that what is really important in this respect is that "it's going to be a focus on trade wars, not real wars."

    For his part, Forbes' contributor Michael Boyd throws the possibility of the US-Chinese trade war into question.

    According to Boyd the crux of the matter is that neither the US nor China are interested in unleashing a trade war.

    He drew attention to the fact that the value of exports to the United States represents over one fifth of China's global total.

    "So, the US is important to the Chinese economy. Critically important," he underscored.

    According to Boyd Trump's decision to reconsider America's trade policies is logical given the fact that "over the past 25 years, the American position on trade with China has been unfocused."

    "There truly are imbalances in the relationship — virtually all due to US non-policies," Boyd noted.

    "President-elect Trump has made it clear that he intends to make major changes in how US- China trade is operated… Precisely because the US will take a strong and defined stance on how trade is re-structured, the relationship between the two countries will be stronger in the future," he believes.

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    China trade wars, US foreign policy, balance of power, economy, trade, Peter Navarro, Donald Trump, Asia-Pacific, China, United States, Hong Kong
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    • avatar
      Darrell R
      These threats of tariffs are being thrown out there as a bargaining tool. More of a publicity stunt than a desirable option. The reality is the current trade deals are very imbalanced and nobody has done anything real to address it. This has led to public resentment. If a deal is negotiated that is fair to both sides, it will benefit both nations in the long run. Getting a proper deal will be challenging to say the least, but if both sides come to the bargaining table with the attitude that the only good deal is one that is good for both sides perhaps it can happen. A trade war on the other hand or an otherwise one sided attitude won't benefit anyone. Balanced trade is the key to long term prosperity. A multipolar world power is a good thing, as long as there is healthy competition as opposed to hostile relations. We all need to work towards that goal.
    • American Socialist
      the more wars The Evil Empire is involved in .. the better.
      which will quickly lead to their dethroning.
    • The Night Wind
      A trade war with China would only succeed if the US had any commodities to trade. Our major exports today are media and military---China doesn't need either one and other countries want Chinese products instead. The US needs to rebuild infrastructure first---and we need China as a partner.
    • avatar
      Those want cheap products are us, those want to make the most profits are the manufacturers, those want the most pays are the union workers, etc., - not the Chinese - so not sure how the President will do.
    • avatar
      There is no doubt that a war, not of Trump's making, has already been declared on the people of America. It was declared when China 'stole' the 'borders' of the WTO agreement from the American negotiators from business manufacturer, one right after the other. And they did it in plain view. It was not, however, the Chinese who sold out the American laborers, the faces of whom the Chinese cannot identify anymore than they can identify their own where 90 million is the usual figure of a large city there, not the hundreds or thousands here. If war was declared, it was an economic one where there was suppose to have no casualties. It was designed to be a victimless crime, something that is not in the Chinese language. If Trump is going to succeed, he is going to have to count on the real instigators of this war; the greedy capitalists who are both here and there. It is these who he must bring to the negotiating table, not the Chinese. A trade war? Get real!
    • avatar
      Well the terrorists American government decimated its middle income, China's is growing, America outsourced its manufacturing base, China's is massive, China is the worlds source for cheap goods, American dollar value is high making goods costly, China's goods are cheap.
    • avatar
      if push comes to shove I would say yes, because I believe China has a healthier economy and a more loyal population.
    • avatar
      tobi.gelandoin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      You are 100 % right Michael !!!
    • vik kral
      Trump promised to renegotiate the US positions vis a vis the US trading partners.
      Right now, he's just posturing......thats what he does.
    • avatar
      michaelin reply totobi.gelando(Show commentHide comment)
      tobi thanks! :)
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