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Opportunities for China in the trade war crisis

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“May you live in interesting times” is, of course, not actually an ancient Chinese curse, nor is the Chinese word for crisis really the same word as opportunity despite what cheap motivational books will tell you. Nonetheless, it seems that some people in Beijing at the prestigious Tsinghua University’s Center for China in the World Economy (CCWE) see opportunity in the trade war.

China-U.S. Focus has published (in English and Chinese) a portion of a CCWE report on the current state of China-U.S. economic and trade relations, which draws the following conclusion:

[W]e believe, handled properly, China-US economic friction may give birth to a new pattern of bilateral cooperation. Such a pattern will have three main hallmarks, i.e. “three acceptances” on the part of the US.

1) The US must accept the fact that China and the US have different development paths, and it is impossible for China to follow a Western path of political and economic development. China and the US should seek peaceful co-existence despite their differences.

2) The US must accept the fact that China will play a primary role in its surroundings regions, since China is the most populous country and will soon be the largest economy.

3) The US must accept a new type of leadership from China in improving global governance. This leadership is proactive, aimed at win-win scenarios as well as peaceful co-existence with the US and West despite differences.

On the Chinese side, the country needs to be more transparent in the role of the government in promoting economic development and technologic progress and more open to foreign investment and trade. China also needs to articulate even more clearly its core interests and strategic intention in a language accessible to the Western world.


Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

China tries to absorb U.S. trade punch with handouts to companies and domestic soy drive

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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