Reset of US-China ties: From tariff war to Cold War

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It would be easy to see the latest US$200 billion (S$273 billion) round of United States tariffs against China, which came into effect on Monday, as just another provocative shot fired off by an American president in need of overseas distractions at a time when the legal noose seems to be tightening around his own neck.

But that would be wrong. In fact, far from being an ill-advised and hasty policy decision emanating solely from Mr Donald Trump's White House, this latest tariff round represents something much more dangerous and lasting: a true reset of economic and political relations between the US and China, and the beginning of something that looks more like a cold war than a trade war.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline Reset of US-China ties: From tariff war to Cold War. Subscribe