"Xi Jinping and Donald Trump reached a cease-fire, not peace"

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Xi Jinping, Donald Trump and their delegations, Buenos Aires, December 1st.
Xi Jinping, Donald Trump and their delegations, Buenos Aires, December 1st. KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS

Chronicle. Obviously, we did not laugh a lot around the table. We trust the Argentineans: theassado, the beef steak, had to melt. But in the official photo, Xi Jinping draws what looks like a smile, Donald Trump pouts, and, lined up on both sides, in a face to face clash, their advisers seem sad. At the bar, at the end of this 1st dinnerst In December in Buenos Aires, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the two parties concluded a cease-fire. Not peace

Read also China and the United States agree a truce in their trade war

The relationship between the two major economies of the world will shape the era. It is more confrontational than ever, even if it is a controlled confrontation and, for the moment, peaceful. In Argentina, Xi and Trump decided to pause in the commercial war between them. The tariff barriers erected in recent months remain in place, but America is renouncing its threat to change gears. China is committed to buying more made in America. Both sides are giving themselves three months to define the new framework for their economic relations.

Structural comparison

The case is not cyclic. It is not measured at the level of commercial protection, even broadly speaking: tariffs, technical standards, etc. The clash is structural. The long list of topics on which Washington requires Beijing to change its behavior "The true nature of the Chinese economic system", he says very well Financial Times.

China must abandon the transfer of forced technology, guarantee respect for intellectual property, secure the end of cyber espionage, renounce the protection of entire sectors of its economy, abandon a policy of subsidies, open or disguised, aimed at creating Chinese giants in technologies of the future – except that the United States relaunches an economic war without limits against it. At the precise moment when Xi is imposing more on him, Trump asks for more market for the Chinese economy. It can not go very well.

Cited in the Financial Times, Derek Scissors, specialist in China and free exchange aAmerican Enterprise Institute, observes: " Are the Chinese willing to change their model of development in the next 90 days? The answer is no. " In the November issue of the magazine Foreign AffairsEly Ratner, US strategist, former advisor to Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, doubts the possibility of a "Big deal" with China. "Xi and the CCP are incapable, he writes, to respond to this fundamental concern of the United States: how to find accommodation with a Chinese economy belonging to the state model? " Free trade with Chinese characteristics is not a fair question: for America, what was possible and profitable, even if at times conflictual, with small Asian dragons is no longer an economy, that of La China, it's going to get over her.

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