The “downward spiral” in United States-China relations has taken a new legal twist that threatens to further decouple the world’s two largest economies.
Not only is Beijing determined to frame this confrontation as one in which the US is the aggressor and China is merely defending itself, but in doing so it is developing and deploying the same tools that Washington has deployed.
This mirror imaging threatens to lock in a reflexive “tit-for-tat” dynamic that ensures the relationship deteriorates further.
China is aggrieved by a lengthening list of US actions intended to punish the country, its companies, or its leaders.
Chinese anger is also being directed elsewhere in the Western world, with Australia and the European Union also targeted for retribution.
Beijing is especially galled by America’s increasing resort to sanctions against Chinese entities and demands that third parties respect and enforce them worldwide. There is also irritation with US laws that mandate disclosure of information that China feels is best held close, such as audits of companies that aim to list on US stock exchanges.
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