In 1979, China and the US, established diplomatic relations and the following decades China began to open up their economy. For a long period of time, the China – US relations prospered. Increased ties and gained market access appeared to serve both economies well. Concurrently, The White House seemed to turn a blind eye when concerns about the emerging power were raised.
The last decade there has been a significant change in the US approach. This has been even more apparent since Donald Trump came to power, following his campaign for presidential nomination in 2016 where he repeatedly talked about how China plunder the US economy. Trump and Xi Jinping have both used hardball negotiation tactics, with threats and the imposition of tariffs, rather than quiet diplomacy, playing a central role in their strategies towards each other. Suspicions of Chinese espionage, cyber theft and the militarisation in the South China Sea are further worsening the odds of fruitful agreements.
Despite today’s lack of Western unity, the EU share many of the concerns highlighted by the US. Together with other American allies they watch closely how the talks progress.
Friday June 14th, Stockholm Free World Forum hosted a seminar on the future of trade with the speaker Frank Lavin, CEO and founder of Export Now, and the discussant Christofer Fjellner, Member of European Parliament (Moderate Party).