Author: ceciliazhang

Will the Sino-U.S. economic friction lead to conflict?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-1-8 09:54:54 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2019-1-7 21:10
You misread my last post wherein I was pointing out that the economic tensions between the USA and ...
between the USA and China is being driven by domestic politics not by geopolitical conflicts


No I believe I got it right. My take was not about what drives the tensions or the trade war, but what the real world dimensions of those tensions are.

One of those is, that american economic interest is to improve trade with China, not go to war. Therefore military conflict because of trade frictions (OP) is highly unlikely. But other (geopolitical) tensions remain.

The second consideration, which I don't see discussed much, is that as western globalists become less dependent on cheap China-made manufacturing (partly because Trumpists want to return manufacturing to USA), they will become increasingly interested in their (our) view of how the Chinese society should develop.

It was fine with western economic interests (though there are other interests), when the Chinese working class was enslaved to factories and farms with low wages and no rights. It will be less so, when the western economic interests depend on Chinese working class as consumers. They'd rather see Chinese having more time, money and opportunities to spend that money on western products and services.

This puts western globalists and so-called human-right advocates on the same page, for different reasons but anyway.

Trump may want to revive manufacturing industries to give jobs to their working class, but that's not the end of it. They need to export those products to bring wealth to the country. USA has lot to improve, but it is not like China, where trillions can be spent on domestic infrastructure projects.

Calls for China to further open its market relate to that. Regardless of what drives the trade tensions, that's what they want.

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Post time 2019-1-8 13:42:07 |Display all floors
Jaaja Post time: 2019-1-8 09:54
No I believe I got it right. My take was not about what drives the tensions or the trade war, bu ...

Nope, you got it wrong the first time. And you’re now repeating the same mistake again: conflating social issues (welfare of Chinese citizens) with the economic problems of the USA.

For some strange reason, Westerners such as yourself can’t accept the idea that Trump’s brand of Economic Nationalism is directly at odds with the neoliberal economic system devised by and for the benefit of the Western Globalist elites. You’re conflating the economic interests of the Western Globalist elites with the social welfare of Chinese citizens. I mean, really? Capitalists don’t care about social welfare but they do care about their tax-free profits which are routed to offshore tax havens.

Trump is misusing the issue of market acccess which has been debunked a long time ago. Take the case of the Chinese auto market which is dominated by a Western country, namely, Germany. Even US auto exports to China are mostly German brands albeit made in the USA. No German company that I know of is complaining about lack of market access. It’s the Trump’s Nationalists who are constantly complaining about the alleged lack of market access for US auto companies who can hardly compete against German, Japanese and South Korean brands in their own domestic market!

It’s quite obvious what’s happening in the USA: Trump’s Nationalists are leading the White Working Class in a power struggle against the neoliberal Globalist elites. Everything else is just a sideshow.


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Post time 2019-1-9 11:32:58 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2019-1-8 13:42
Nope, you got it wrong the first time. And you’re now repeating the same mistake again: conflatin ...
You’re conflating the economic interests of the Western Globalist elites with the social welfare of Chinese citizens. I mean, really?


Yes, really.

My points go beyond Trump.

When China was poor, those western globalists couldn't make profit from Chinese consumers, but they could make profit off the back of Chinese working class, and lack of "social welfare" (or whatever you call it) of Chinese public was not a concern to them (I was however referring to the authoritarian rule rather than social welfare per se).

But now they are increasingly trying to make profit from Chinese consumers, and the more time and money (as opposed to being tied to 16 hour working days in low wage factory jobs and farming) the Chinese consumers have, the better for western globalists.

Whether they spend that time and money in Starbucks and KFCs, western movies, shopping western products, or even optimistically western social media, they want as much of that as they can.

It is increasingly in interest of western globalists, that Chinese get more money, time and freedoms to spend. Previously that was only interest to some liberal ideological activists.

It (domestic consumption to run service industry) is also increasingly in interest of China's leaders, as long as it does not destabilize the party rule.

For western globalists, the latter part is now irrelevant. As their profits do not so much come from Chinese factories anymore, they don't need strong government to keep people in the low wage jobs.

conflating social issues (welfare of Chinese citizens) with the economic problems of the
USA


Do note that I have made no reference (other than mentioning Trump occassionally) to domestic problems in US economy. My points are about general trends in globalization, and development of China.

These things are happening regardless of who run the office in USA, or what problems or how they try to solve.

No German company that I know of is complaining about lack of market access.


Under Merkel's 2018 visit to China, these are topics that were discussed in German media:

"German and European firms operating in China have long complained about the lack of a level-playing field and uneven access to the Asian country's gigantic market. "

"European officials say Merkel's trip offers an opportunity for the German leader to press the Chinese to deliver on their promises of trade liberalization."

"the Asian giant is a big buyer of Made-in-Germany goods, but there is growing concern in Berlin that government-supported Chinese firms are increasingly aiming to get their hands on key technologies by acquiring German and European companies in strategic industrial sectors"

And then a reference to your favourite topic, at least until instructed to tune it down:

"German media group Bertelsmann indicated that of 175 firms either partly or completely bought by Chinese investors between 2014 and 2017, 112 were in areas that China was targeting for its Made in China 2025 strategy."

And further:

""We are seeing the growing influence of the Chinese Communist Party on individual companies, exactly the opposite of what we heard in Davos last year. That's what annoys us," Dieter Kempf of the Federation of German Industry (BDI) told DW, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping's championing of free trade at the 2017 World Economic Forum annual meeting."

When it comes to trade with China, Germany has the same concerns as USA has, but they are not quite so vocal about it. You could say, that they are in the backseat of the same Mercedes-Benz that Trump currently drives. Just as they are with UN, NATO, WTO, IMF, you name it. Germany only drives EU.

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Post time 2019-1-9 13:35:06 |Display all floors
With a mad man in the White House, chances of conflict have increased; also could be accidental because he can't control his impulses, and with most 'adults in the room' gone or fired, there isn't anyone to control him!

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Post time 2019-1-15 09:16:27 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sfphoto at 2019-1-15 11:40
Jaaja Post time: 2019-1-9 11:32
Yes, really.

My points go beyond Trump.

Your last post is full of contradicting statements.

As the Germand would admit, China is a big buyer of Made-in-Germany products as well as German brands made in China and elsewhere such as the USA. So lack of market access is a non issue for German industry. What the Germans are concerned about is the transfer of core industrial technologies from German companies acquired by China. But that’s more symptomatic of the “Yellow Peril” syndrome than the issue of IP theft.

The rest of your post is irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

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