Japan's path to World War II shows risks of Trump's Huawei ban

The dynamic of the US pushback against China is reminiscent of its earlier efforts against imperial Japan, with many of the same pitfalls

The strategic rivalry between China and the United States has incited an outbreak of historical analogies - Athens versus Sparta, the United Kingdom versus Wilhelmine Germany, or the US versus the Soviet Union.

But the fracas over the US' actions against telecommunications giant Huawei recalls another antecedent: the US' pre-World War II pressure campaign against Japan, culminating in then President Franklin Roosevelt's momentous decision in July 1941 to freeze Japan's assets in the US.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline 'Japan's path to World War II shows risks of Trump's Huawei ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe