A few thoughts on the latest buzzword to describe Sino-Western relations
I would agree that the difference between de-risking and decoupling is semantics. That said I’m not sure the Treasury’s cited description is what many businesses would endorse. De-risking your supply chains doesn’t necessarily mean shutting down your China business altogether.
The unfortunate truth, which I don’t think the Adam Tooze type reasoning addresses, is that if Janet Yellen is too hawkish, and the engagement status quo ante failed to produce an acceptable CCP, then we are up-river without a paddle.
There is an important wordsmithism that needs to be found to define disengagement. But we should be under no illusion that disengaging is what we are doing, at least partially, as us China’s CCP in its own ‘relentless’ way
Basic point is on the money. One problem, tech -- like AI and Supercomputer chips and chip-making equipment are dual use and will increasingly be a driver of econ growth, not surprised China reads it as containment.
This is a tad more pointed assessment: https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/3973023-us-china-tensions-are-spiraling-on-both-sides-we-need-a-resolution/
The cases to charge "China has behaved badly" are kind of weak, aren't they?
[Tooze quote in OP]: “Yellen insists] that U.S. measures against China will be tightly targeted. But, as everyone knows, those targeted measures have so far included massive efforts to hobble the world leader in 5G technology, Huawei, sanctions against the entire chip supply chain, and the inclusion of most major research universities in China on America’s entities list that strictly limits trade.”
Honestly, these strike me as perfectly reasonable measures that actually are “narrowly targeted” against industries, companies, and products with crucial military importance. Given that we’re seeing in real time how large an impact the Russian military’s dependence on Western computer and electronic components is having in its ability to repair and replace crucial equipment like tanks, planes, etc. in Ukraine, I don’t see how anyone can plausibly characterize the American restrictions on Chinese tech exchanges as anything other than appropriately targeted.
[OP]: “Look, this is not all on the Biden administration. China has behaved poorly across a wide variety of policy arenas.”
Uh, yeah, I should say so. And there’s no credible “both sides” argument when China’s poor behavior includes everything from gradual de facto annexation of international and disputed waters, a massive military build up and modernization effort coupled with aggressive rhetoric and threats of invasion over trivial diplomatic snubs, not to mention, you know, the ongoing Uyghur genocide.
Given the fundamentally incompatible political systems, values, and goals of the US and CCP-controlled China, it seems to me that there are only three realistic paths here: (1) China liberalizes and stops pursuing coercive territorial expansion, (2) US power declines to the point of having no choice but to accept China’s dominance in Asia, or (3) we settle in for a new Cold War and quite possible a hot one. And since neither country is likely to accept scenarios 1 or 2, respectively, without first taking a crack at winning scenario 3, I don’t think we have much choice but to prepare for it with all due haste.
Thank you so much, I was supposed to have watched that webcast live.