What’s happening between the United States and China is far bigger than a mere trade dispute. It’s the first step in the long march to a new world order.
To talk of a trade war between the United States and China is to misunderstand the magnitude of what the world economic order is confronting. Think of it as Brexit on a global scale. Just as Britain is struggling to separate itself from the European Union, America and China are struggling to separate their huge economies from one another. Not only are the economies involved in this latter separation much larger and much more consequential for innocent bystanders, there is also the added feature of a geopolitical rivalry between a dominant and a rising power, the sort of rivalry that Harvard’s Graham Allison argues has often resulted in military conflict. So replace “trade war,” which is only one aspect of the current conflict, with “decoupling.” America has decided to end its reliance on China as a pool of cheap labor and goods, which has brought with it the decimation of many of its industries and communities and the filching of its intellectual property. China, in its turn, wants to end its dependence for economic growth on the vast American market, a vulnerability Trump or a successor can exploit to prevent China from realizing its goal of displacing the United States as the dominant economic and military world power.
Read the full article on The American InterestAugust 19, 2019