President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 2020. Shealah Craighead/The White House

Trade tensions rise between the U.S and China

Tensions are rising between the United States and China over a trade war due to the coronavirus pandemic. Companies are striving to meet an overwhelming amount of new demand for a variety of goods to fight coronavirus; nevertheless, firms might be unable to meet society’s need using their own devices, according to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


“Cut off relations with Beijing,” said U.S. President Donald Trump, according to The Guardian.


Trump said he was disappointed with China’s attempt at containing the virus, as it spread throughout the globe. During his interview with Fox Business, he said he had no interest in speaking with the chinese president, Xi Jinping.


Fox Business also reported the Trump administration had cut investment ties between U.S. federal retirement funds and Chinese equities.


Previously, both presidents had a good relationship—however, Trump was quoted by The Guardian saying, “Right now I don’t want to speak to him” and “We could cut off the relationship” when asked what measures he wanted to take against China.


Global Times reported Trump is the first president that intended to “cut off” relations with China, claiming that the move would save the U.S. $500 billion. The Trump administration has routinely expressed dissatisfaction towards China, especially since the election is approaching, there will be more criticism against the country. 


South China Morning Post reported the U.S. Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would strengthen oversight of foreign companies, specifically targeted at China in order to “stop them from cheating” on U.S. exchange, according to Republican legislator John Kennedy. 


The bill, however, would still need to pass in the House of Representatives and be signed into law. 


Jin Canrong, associate Dean of China’s School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing also noted “If the U.S. unilaterally cuts off ties, the American people will pay a heavier price than us, because China’s domestic market is huge and 75-80% of Chinese manufacturers are supplying China’s market, and the 2–5% that supply the U.S. can also be absorbed by the domestic market.” 


During an interview, the former U.S. ambassador to China, Max Baucus, told Global Times the situation in the U.S. reminded him of “a kind of an era which is similar to Joe McCarthy,” where a lot of people attacked one another for being close to China’s Communist Party.


However, Baucus was also quoted in the article saying, “We need each other economically. We need each other, basically, to coexist,” so, the possibilities of war between two largest economies, seemed unlikely. 


“Even if a Chinese ship and an American ship bump up in the South China Sea, there will be a lot of headlines and a lot of people will be upset. There will not be a bigger war [between the U.S. and China],” Baucus said. 


The former ambassador also said Trump was targeting China, mainly because the U.S. economy is not performing very well, especially during this pandemic. Baucus explained another reason why the Trump administration adopted a strong rhetoric against China is because of a differing culture between both countries.


 “If the rising power is a Western country like France, it will be easier for Americans to accept, because they are also part of Western culture,” Baucus said.