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Most analysis of U.S.
foreign policy focuses on the executive branch. That might make sense when the
same party controls the White House and Congress, but does not apply after the
Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives this year. In fact, U.S.
lawmakers have been taking a more active role in shaping the U.S. approach to
the Indo-Pacific region for several years, most notably on policies toward
China, human rights, trade and North Korea.
There are no longer any illusions that the U.S. sees any potential in partnership with China. The two countries have entered into a strategic competition that in the worst case, could quickly become a cold war-style confrontation. Negotiation on the biggest economic sticking points could ease tensions, but only for the short to medium term. The emerging rivalry of the two powers is with us to stay.
As the “trade war” between the U.S. and China looks set to last, it is time to ask if the confrontation is more about “war” than “trade.” In fact, China is simply carrying on the ideological battle initiated by the Soviet Union in the 20th century. This time, however, with its hybrid totalitarian-capitalist system, Beijing is a more formidable foe. For now, the pragmatic Chinese may back down for strategic reasons, but in the long term, the showdown is likely to intensify.
Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak
Past U.S. administrations have shied away from standing up to China on trade. Donald Trump’s tough stance has put Beijing in a tough spot, and it is likely to bite the bullet on a deal. A face-to-face meeting between the country’s two leaders this month could initiate a process of U.S.-China policy coordination.
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
The Indian government has taken a protectionist posture on trade, taking measures to boost domestic manufacturing, hike tariffs and stall trade negotiations. Yet exports have failed to increase, in part because of red tape and poor logistics. The administration’s present attitude could see India struggle with the current account deficit and increasingly get shut out from overseas markets, unless a growing corporate sector can lobby for change.
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
If Europe and the United States try to exploit Turkey's current financial difficulties to apply political pressure, they will be making a serious mistake.