By Invitation

Sino-US decoupling: Breaking up is hard to do

The act of divorce is hard and complicated, as seen in the extension of supply chains

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second right) speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (second left), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (left), China's Foreign Minister at the opening session of US-China talks at the
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second right) speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (second left), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (left), China's Foreign Minister at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021PHOTO: AFP

As US President Joe Biden nears the 100-day mark in office at the end of April, his administration has not only stayed the tough-on-China course set by his predecessor but gone further.

Decoupling, which served as the definitive buzzword in the lexicon of Sino-US relations during the Trump years, has continued apace and expanded into just about every sphere of bilateral ties - from trade to textiles, rare earths to regional diplomacy. But great power posturing and brinkmanship aside, decoupling has not been without its own inherent contradictions and complications.

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