The US and China Need to Keep Investing in Their Relationship

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Middle East

The US and China Need to Keep Investing in Their Relationship

The web of commercial ties spun between the world's two largest economies over the past two decades is fraying. Early in the US Democratic primary, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris came across as two of the least confrontational candidates on China issues. Their administration, however, is offering not so much a break with Trump-era trade tensions, as continuity and escalation. The US government is working on a digital trade pact that would set standards on data protection and e-commerce, and aims to isolate China, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News last week. American diplomats won't restart the strategic economic dialogue meetings that were a cornerstone of US-China relations under the George W. Bush and Obama administrations and were abandoned under Donald Trump, and the Biden administration Friday warned businesses operating in Hong Kong that they faced risks similar to those of operating in mainland China. How much does all this matter? It depends a lot on the role you think commercial ties play in maintaining the uneasy peace between great powers. During the Cold War, the division of the world into capitalist and communist blocs, which barely traded, sharpened the threat that conflict could break out at any…