China and the United States are working to compile an agreement that will end the ongoing trade war; however, according to the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies that may not be enough to avert what they call a “new Cold War.”
In regards to the tensions of the situation Yoon Young-kwan, former South Korean Minister of Public Affairs stated that; “We are now entering to a more unstable and dangerous era of international relations.”
Young-kwan was not alone in his statement; in fact, a number of experts expressed their concerns over the ongoing trade war and the effect it has and will have on the surrounding Asian Nations.
“The foundations for a constructive U.S.-China relationship are more fragile than at any time in recent decades,” said Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to China during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations and the founding director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the U.S.
“If Washington and Beijing cannot reconcile their respective interests and ambitions in the western Pacific,” Roy added, “This will increase the possibility of military confrontations, divert resources from economic development to a dangerous and costly the arms race, and enhance the likelihood of nuclear proliferation and increased pressures on the countries in East Asia to choose sides.”
Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the Obama and Trump administrations Daniel Russel also noted, “The deterioration of U.S.-China relations has implications for Northeast Asia that go well beyond North Korea. All countries are going to resist being forced to line up behind one side or another in a new Cold War.”
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In addition, Executive Director at Nanjing University’s China Center for Collaborative Studies of the South China Sea, Zhu Feng stated that China is still “grappling” with the shift in US policy on China since the beginning of the Trump administration.
Zhu also said that China is treating the trade war as a “wake up call” for Beijing on how quickly relations can turn. Further, Roy summarized; “No country will benefit from such an outcome [of a Cold War], least of all China and the United States.”
Both China and the United States are actively engaged in negotiations to end the ongoing trade dispute; however, the deadline of March 1st, 2019 is rapidly approaching.
President Trump, speaking from the Rose Garden on Friday, February 15th, 2019, stated in regards to the ongoing Trade War with China; “Thank you very much, everybody. Before we begin, I’d like to just say that we have a large team of very talented people in China. We’ve had a negotiation going on for about two days. It’s going extremely well. Who knows what that means, because it only matters if we get it done. But we’re very much working very closely with China and President Xi, who I respect a lot. Very good relationship that we have. And we’re a lot closer than we ever were in this country with having a real trade deal.
We’re covering everything — all of the points that people have been talking about for years that said couldn’t be done, whether it was theft or anything. Anything. The unfairness. We’ve been losing, on average, $375 billion a year with China. A lot of people think it’s $506 billion. Some people think it’s much more than that. We’re going to be leveling the playing field.
The tariffs are hurting China very badly. They don’t want them. And frankly, if we can make the deal, it’d be my honor to remove them. But otherwise, we’re having many billions of dollars pouring into our Treasury. We’ve never had that before with China. It’s been very much of a one-way street.
So, that’s happening. And the relationship with China is very good, but I think they finally respect our country. They haven’t respected us for a long time. Not for a long time.”
In response to President Trump’s comments on Friday, Asian markets shifted higher because of the hopes that the trade War might end.
However, regardless of the outcome of negotiations between the two, the trade war, in and of itself, may be simply a symptom of a much greater problem, or as the Chey Institute implies that international relations have deteriorated to the point where the world is potentially witnessing the beginning of a New Cold War.