Skip to main content

leonard43_GettyImages_ChinaUStrademelting Getty Images

The End of “Chimerica”

By threatening the survival of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the Trump administration has put an end to speculation about a possible rupture between the United States and China. A full-scale decoupling between the world's two largest economies is now underway, and a new age of zero-sum competition is beginning.

BERLIN – The escalating rivalry between China and the United States is ushering in a bipolar world. While the past few decades have been defined mostly by cooperation among the world’s leading powers, the next few will be marked by zero-sum competition. Already, globalization and the deepening of ties between countries is giving way to what has euphemistically been called “decoupling.” Countries and regions are sorting themselves into smaller economic and geopolitical units under the guise of “taking back control.”

All of these trends are on display in the fight over the Chinese technology giant Huawei, a multinational company that purchases components from the US, Europe, Brazil, and elsewhere, sells its products in 170 countries, and is leading the expansion of 5G networks in many parts of the world. Until recently, Western businesses welcomed Huawei’s low-cost, high-quality products; its presence kept US and European tech firms on their toes.

But now, the Trump administration’s ban on sales of key components to Huawei by US firms, and its pressure on US allies to do the same, seems to have triggered a full-scale reversal of globalization. If Huawei and other Chinese “champions” are to survive, they must end their supply-chain dependency on the US.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;
  1. GettyImages-1185850541 Scott Peterson/Getty Images

    Power to the People?

    Aryeh Neier

    From Beirut to Hong Kong to Santiago, governments are eager to bring an end to mass demonstrations. But, in the absence of greater institutional responsiveness to popular grievances and demands, people are unlikely to stay home.

  2. rogoff187_Matt Anderson Photography Getty Images_datanumberlines Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images

    The High Stakes of the Coming Digital Currency War

    Kenneth Rogoff

    Just as technology has disrupted media, politics, and business, it is on the verge of disrupting America’s ability to leverage faith in its currency to pursue its broader national interests. The real challenge for the United States isn't Facebook's proposed Libra; it's government-backed digital currencies like the one planned by China.


Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions