November 15, 2018

What is the end game with China?

By Peter Harrell

As President Trump prepares to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month, there is intense speculation about whether the two leaders will strike a deal over the tariffs imposed on $250 billion of Chinese goods. The internal divisions on the issue within the White House spilled into public this week, with trade adviser Peter Navarro publicly attacking American financiers for lobbying on trade and economic adviser Larry Kudlow calling those remarks “way off” base.

But the focus on the tariffs ignores emerging key parts of the White House strategy to pressure Beijing. These are the targeted tools that are quietly ratcheting up pressure against the efforts by China to acquire cutting edge American technology. Even if Trump and Xi strike a deal on the tariffs, Trump can deploy these new tools to keep up pressure on intellectual property theft and other illicit efforts to acquire American technology. More importantly, the internal dispute highlights the need for Trump to finally articulate the goals of his trade war, which remain strikingly unclear a year into the most significant United States trade dispute in three decades.

The first new tool in the arsenal has been a drastic increase in prosecutions of Chinese spies and hackers. Since the beginning of October, the Justice Department has brought at least three sets of charges against Chinese intellectual property theft and extradited one of the spies from Belgium to face trial in Ohio. This represents a major new law enforcement focus on Chinese economic espionage.

Read the full article in The Hill.

  • Commentary
    • EUobserver
    • May 29, 2020
    China's post-Covid 19 'techno-nationalist' industrial policy

    While Covid-19 brings China one step closer to technology-perfected authoritarianism through improvised health apps and real-time surveillance, Europe is busy looking inward. ...

    By Rebecca Arcesati & Martijn Rasser

  • Commentary
    • National Endowment for Democracy
    • May 26, 2020
    Converging Chinese and Russian Disinformation Compounds Threat to Democracy

    In recent weeks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and disinformation blitz around COVID-19 has drawn increasing attention, and with good reason. In addition to pr...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & David Shullman

  • Video
    • May 20, 2020
    U.S.-China relations are in a free fall, says expert

    Former State Department official Anja Manuel joins Morning Joe to discuss why she says U.S.-China relations are in a free fall. Watch the full conversation on MSNBC....

    By Anja Manuel

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • May 13, 2020
    The United States Can’t Afford to Turn Away Chinese Talent

    Intellectual property theft is a real concern, and China has been the world’s foremost infringer. But a blanket exclusion of Chinese students from U.S. academic and scien...

    By Elsa B. Kania & Lindsay Gorman

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia