The world’s most important bilateral economic relationship is at a critical juncture. Notwithstanding America’s leadership transition from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, after three years of a trade war, the United States and China now appear to be in the early stages of a Cold War. This conflict is very different in one key respect from that which occurred between the United States and the former Soviet Union from 1947 to 1991: The rising power (China) is operating from a position of gathering economic strength whereas the incumbent leading power (US) has a considerably weaker economy than was the case during the first Cold War. Moreover, unlike America’s limited connection with the former Soviet Union, the US and China have long relied on each other as sources of economic growth; it will be exceedingly difficult to decouple from today’s deep-rooted codependency without exacting a toll on both economies.
Last updated on 16/07/2021