June 25, 2018
Trump’s unorthodox policies appears to be bearing fruit.
Amid a barrage of constant tit-for-tat escalations which are finally beginning to spillover into markets – a necessary condition for Trump’s negotiating strategy to be taken seriously by America’s trading partners as Goldman explained at the start of the month – Reuters reports that Beijing has begun “downplaying” Made in China 2025, the state-backed industrial policy that has provoked alarm in the West and is the core reason behind Washington’s complaints about the country’s technological ambitions.
Halting China’s relentless technological advance, much of which is on the back of reverse-engineered, “merged & acquired”, or simply stolen US technologies, is the reason for the latest developments out of Washington, which according to media reports will see the Trump administration enforce rules that bar companies with at least 25% Chinese ownership from buying U.S. firms with “industrially significant technology.”
To be sure, Trump’s attempt to reduce the Chinese trade surplus with the US is just one aspect of Trump’s complaint over US-Chinese relations: with a full-blown trade war looming amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on up to $450 billion in Chinese imports, his administration has fixed on Beijing’s signature effort to deploy state support to close a technology gap in 10 key sectors.
And, in what is a sign that these threats and diplomatic bluster are working, Beijing is increasingly mindful that its rollout of the ambitious plan has triggered U.S. backlash.
In the Reuters report, which quotes a senior western diplomat, in meetings Chinese officials have recently begun downplaying Made in China 2025.
The officials have stressed that the aspects that have raised the most ire abroad were simply proposals by Chinese academics.
In an attempt…