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Trade talks break up with no deal — a new era of strategic separatism?


SupChina.com —Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief

309 days after the first Trump tariffs kicked in on July 6, 2018, the AP reports:

Trade talks between the U.S. and China broke up Friday [May 10] with no apparent agreement, and President Donald Trump asserted that there was "no need to rush" to get a deal between the world's two biggest economies.

Hours earlier, the Trump administration hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington. China's Commerce Ministry said it would impose "necessary countermeasures" but gave no details.


What’s next? Who knows? The New York Times says (porous paywall) that China is “defiant but careful,” and promises an “aggressive response” to the new tariffs. It’s going to be a busy weekend in Beijing.

Instead of reading analysis of what went wrong this week, the essential read this weekend on U.S.-China tensions is this Financial Times report (paywall) from “a forum on military-civil dual-use technology in Beijing this week” by Yuan Yang and Nian Liu.

Naturally, people at an event organized by “a group of mostly state-owned military companies” are bound to be hawkish, but their views are also very common on Chinese social media, and — one must assume — at many levels of the Party hierarchy. Here are comments from three attendees cited in the FT report:

“I very much hope that the negotiations will break down. Once the negotiations are over, the United States will be finished, for sure…we kick out all the American companies and bring all of ours back… No way will Trump be re-elected.”

“The U.S. is going downhill, and ‘screaming loudly is a sign of their decline.’”

“The world we are about to enter will not be an era of peace and development, it will be an era of strategic separatism. Trumpism is just American imperialism but one that is ‘America First’ and more savage, bloodier and more warlike.”


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