mandag 20. januar 2020

How the phase one US-China trade deal moves the world closer to a G2 global order

In the days that followed last week’s signing of the phase one US-China trade agreement in Washington, the general consensus was that China gave more than it got. If you didn’t want to bother poring over the details of the agreement, you could just watch the footage of Vice-Premier Liu He standing a few feet behind US President Donald Trump as the US leader reiterated a list of grievances about how China had taken advantage of the US, how America had been on its knees because of Chinese scheming and how Trump himself slew the menacing red dragon.

Optics aside, the outcome of the phase one deal was much more about cooperation than competition than most analysts have acknowledged.The accord nudged the world closer to the kind of order that suits the top leaders of both countries. This may have helped Liu stand silently during the victory lap that Trump ran around him in the form of an endless monologue that felt more suited to a mafia don’s anniversary banquet than statesmanship.