Donald Trump is risking a new Cold War with China – Angus Robertson

Donald Trump and the Chinese regime have been at odds over trade and the coronavirus outbreak (Picture: Alex Brandon/AP)Donald Trump and the Chinese regime have been at odds over trade and the coronavirus outbreak (Picture: Alex Brandon/AP)
Donald Trump and the Chinese regime have been at odds over trade and the coronavirus outbreak (Picture: Alex Brandon/AP)
The UK could get caught up in the growing stand-off between the United States and China over the coronavirus outbreak and trade, writes Angus Robertson.

Just when some good news would be welcome, the prospects are growing of a trade war becoming a full-blown cold war with China.

As Beijing cracks down on the democracy movement in Hong Kong, tensions have continued to grow about trading relations with the Asian economic giant.

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Primarily this is a stand-off between the United States and China, which has not been helped by the incendiary insistence by President Trump that Covid-19 is a “Chinese virus” and unsubstantiated claims about its origins.

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New statistics released at the weekend by the World Economic Forum show that the value of Chinese exports fell by 17.2 per cent year-on-year in the first two months of 2020, while imports slowed by four per cent.

China has hit back at the US, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying: “It’s time for the United States to give up its wishful thinking of changing China and stopping 1.4 billion people in their historic march toward modernisation.”

He warned that the worsening situations “are taking China-US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war”.

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This also impacts on us here, with major challenges for Europe and the UK including the potential for state-backed Chinese takeovers of struggling companies and the role of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in forthcoming 5G mobile networks.

These are not easy challenges and unfortunately have the potential to get worse before they get better.

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