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The United States and China: Condemned to Repetition?

Presidents Xi and Trump. (Image: The White House)

Presidents Xi and Trump. (Image: The White House)

January 09, 2018

As 2018 dawns, the U.S.-China relationship will continue to dominate headlines, yet China remains a mystery to many Americans. At once a major marketplace, with almost one fifth of the world’s population and an economy that has grown more rapidly than any other in history, the U.S. posture is evolving and China is increasingly viewed as a global economic threat. Fairly or not, the impression has arisen that China has gained significant advantage playing by different rules. Among other concerns, China is accused of manipulating its currency to make its terms of trade more attractive, capturing by sundry means intellectual property developed elsewhere, and providing overwhelming government support for investment and production in a manner encouraging surplus production that undercuts U.S. and others’ competitiveness.

Meanwhile, China is also emerging as a more confident, assertive actor. In trade and economic terms, the Belt and Road Initiative is a dramatic vision of development for the Eurasian landmass and oceanic region that is now expanding far afield to Africa and Latin America. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a China-led trade negotiation, promises to be an alternative trade arrangement for the Asia-Pacific Region, even as China works to strengthen its presence in existing institutions such as APEC and the WTO. China is also actively promoting alternative avenues for global economic management and governance, including the AIIB, the BRICS group with institutions such as the BRICS Bank, and bilateral lending and development activities....  

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