Yorbing Staff, Friday February 1, 2019
WNYC The Takeaway.
This week, top U.S. and Chinese officials met again for another round of trade talks, aimed at ending the trade war. The deadline for a reaching a final deal is March 1st.
Just two days before the trade talks began this week, the US Department of Justice unveiled criminal charges against the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. The DOJ accused the company of stealing trade secrets, committing wire fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements, and violating sanctions against Iran.
Jiayang Fan, a staff writer at The New Yorker, says that the U.S. and China view this case very differently.
Reaching an agreement on the trade war might be less about coming up with new rules and regulations and more about coming to some sort of a mutual understanding.
Weijian Shan grew up during the Cultural Revolution and spent his childhood in a hard labor camp. Today, he is chairman and CEO of PAG, a private equity firm and author of, “Out of the Gobi: My Story from China and America.” He reflects on the current tension between two schools of thought: One which seeks to move forward and abandon the system of party control over economic activity and the other that wants to hold onto the previous system of an active government presence in the economy.
Amy’s Final Take:
We only just scratched the surface of China’s long, complicated and often confusing relationship with the West. If we want to understand the prospects for the short term like will there be a trade deal or more tariffs — we need to understand how China views itself — with both hubris and deep seated memory of past humiliations at the hand of the west.
Plus, the trade war is masking the bigger, more challenging dilemma for the U.S. and the rest of the world for the long term. What I found most fascinating in my discussion with Jiyang Fang of the New Yorker as well as my conversations with people in Beijing and Shanghai last December, is the degree to which China sees itself as a more passive — rather than active — Superpower. In other words, China wants to be successful and prosperous and powerful, but doesn’t want to play the role of enforcer of political world order. The question isn’t what happens if China fills the vacuum left by the U.S.’s diminishing role in policing the world’s political, social, moral world order. Instead, it’s what happens if China doesn’t fill it. And, we are left with — a vacuum?