Year of rooster in Chengdu China VCG

China’s Big Sticks

The Trump administration's China-bashing strategy is based on the mistaken belief that a newly muscular US has all the leverage in dealing with its presumed adversary, and that any Chinese response is hardly worth considering. Nothing could be further from the truth.

NEW HAVEN – US President Donald Trump’s administration is making a major miscalculation by going after China. It appears to be contemplating a wide range of economic and political sanctions – from imposing punitive tariffs and designating China as a “currency manipulator” to embracing Taiwan and casting aside some 40 years of diplomacy framed around the so-called One-China policy.

This strategy will backfire. It is based on the mistaken belief that a newly muscular United States has all the leverage in dealing with its presumed adversary, and that any Chinese response is hardly worth considering. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, the US is one of China’s largest export markets – and thus a central pillar of its spectacular 35-year development trajectory. Closing off the US market would certainly crimp Chinese economic growth.

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