Friday, August 25, 2017

Economic War between China and the US

Sputnik Radio interviewed me by phone on whether the US and China are ready to wage economic war. The audio of the interview is here.

They wrote a short piece based on the interview as below.

The United States formally launched a probe into China's trade practices to find out whether the country's actions may harm American commerce, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Friday.
Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. George Koo, founder and former managing director of International Strategic Alliances as well as a director of New America Media.
“I don’t think China has expressed any desire to wage economic war with the United States. However, I think China is very interested in continuing its very healthy robust economic growth and there may come a time, maybe 10 or 20 years down the road that China’s economy will be larger than the US. But it’s not a zero-sum game, it’s not like one economy grows at the expense of the other one,” Koo said.
He further said that what former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon disclosed about the covert economic war with China is not what is happening.
“If the US fails to keep up with China’s growth there will be domestic causes, such as not investing in education, not believing in science, not investing in innovation and not encouraging technological advances,” the expert said.
According to Koo, Trump’s administration is “on the wrong approach in terms of the economic policies.”
Talking about the consequences of the world’s two largest economies going head to head in an “economic war” with one another, the expert said that all the world’s economies will be affected and suffer as a result.
However, the expert doubts that this will occur. “I doubt that it’s going to happen. China is emphasizing its One Belt, One Road initiative, which is really trying to create and spread the wealth among the less developed countries to create situations which will be win-win and mutually beneficial,” Koo said.
He further said that the world’s economies are so tied together that it is like “Siamese twins” – if you kill one, the other one will die too.
Earlier in the week Steve Bannon said that the US has been locked in a covert economic war with China. The official said the next few decades would decide who would be the "hegemon." 
He also insisted that an investigation of China’s trade practices under US President Donald Trump’s order ought to take place. The probe will look into whether Beijing improperly requires foreign companies to hand over technology in exchange for market access. 
However, after his resignation on Friday, the question remains whether the new US trade policy toward China is here to stay.
After US media reports of Trump's plans to investigate China’s alleged intellectual property theft from US companies, the Chinese Commerce Ministry criticized Donald Trump’s decision saying that it violated international law. The Chinese Foreign Ministry called US plans to crack down on trade with China "unacceptable."
Recently, US President Donald Trump has stepped up criticism of China amid Pyongyang's numerous ballistic missile launches. Trump said last month that he was "very disappointed in China" over its failure to put pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile tests.