Good evening. In a bilateral relationship that manages to find new lows seemingly every week, Donald Trump’s trade war with China can feel like eons ago. But the Biden administration has largely maintained Trump’s tariffs — meaning that the trade war is still very much alive and well, affecting some $300 billion of Chinese goods.
That could change this fall, however. The Biden administration is expected to release a mandatory four-year review on the efficacy of the tariffs as well as their impact, offering an opportunity to take stock of how the U.S.-China relationship has and has not changed and what the U.S. strategy should be going forward.
In that spirit, our cover story this week is an excerpt from Bob Lighthizer’s recent book, reflecting on his decision, as Trump’s Trade Representative, to invoke the legal tool known as Section 301. Agree or disagree with Lighthizer’s approach to trade, his use of Section 301 to impose tariffs on China shifted the conversation considerably, and he argues the work is not yet done.
Elsewhere, we have infographics on XPeng, which was once dismissed as a Tesla copycat; an interview with Bonnie Glaser and Ryan Hass on getting Taiwan policy right; a reported piece on what Huawei’s new phone means for U.S. export controls; and an op-ed about addressing the robot risk. If you’re not already a paid subscriber to The Wire, please sign up here.
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Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative under Donald Trump, reflects on his decision to launch the trade war with China and begin the process of “strategic decoupling” — a process he says the U.S. must see through to the end.
Occasionally dismissed as a Tesla copycat, XPeng is now speeding ahead with plans to expand overseas. This week’s infographics by Aaron Mc Nicholas look at XPeng and assess its competitive position in China’s EV scene, as well as its vulnerability to the EU’s recently announced anti-subsidy investigation.
Bonnie S. Glaser is the managing director of the Indo-Pacific Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Ryan Hass is director of the John L. Thornton China Center and the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at the Brookings Institution. Along with Richard Bush, Glaser and Hass wrote U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Will China’s Challenge Lead to a Crisis? (April, 2023). In this week’s Q&A with Katrina Northrop, they discuss how to support Taiwan’s security without antagonizing Beijing.
Bonnie Glaser and Ryan Hass
Illustrations by Lauren Crow
Chinese tech capacity appears to be improving, calling into question the effectiveness of American export controls. Eliot Chen reports.
As China, the U.S., and the world stand on the brink of further transformations in bionic robotics, Gerui Wang argues that global cooperation is needed to ensure the rapid progress in robotics benefits societies.
Join us for the launch event of the China Books Review, a new online publication of the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations and The Wire China. To usher in this new publication of commentary on China writings new and old, three generations of writers will talk about how the field of ‘China watching’ has changed over the decades. From the black box of the 1960s and 70s, to the opening of the 80s, to new realities post-Tiananmen, through the booming 2000s into the tightening 2010s and 2020s, what writers on China – both Chinese and outsiders – have witnessed and been able to document has changed dramatically. We survey these generational differences with three serial mini-interviews, in a whistle-stop tour of how the world of China writing got to where it is today.
Thu 12 Oct 2023
6:30 – 8 p.m.
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
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