Newsletter 141 - November 20, 2022
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Welcome to the 141st edition of Trade War.
Biden and Xi have a surprisingly cordial encounter when they meet in Bali. Cooperation on global challenges including climate change, the world economy, and health and food security is highlighted. And the two leaders agree to the resumption of regular exchanges between their countries.
Still, don’t count on it lasting for ever. Taiwan will flare up again. Biden is expected to ratchet up more pressure on China’s technology supply chain with new sanctions. During the Bali meeting Xi was already signaling an unwillingness to answer U.S. concerns over China’s “non-market” practices. And disagreement over the two countries different economic and political systems won’t go away.
China’s move towards an easing in pandemic policies likely short-lived as Covid flares across the country. Migrant worker protest against lockdown in Guangzhou turns violent. And party cadres start helping make iPhones in Zhengzhou factory after workers flee.
Economic doldrums as retail sales and exports move into negative territory in October with November likely to be worse. International bankers seize on just-announced property-boosting measures for their weekly dose of wishful thinking. And Chinese bankers likely to suffer Common Prosperity pay cuts.
Taiwan engineers flee mainland China semiconductor plants. And Taipei considers passing its own CHIPS Act.
Taiwanese conscripts are said to be in an “appalling state.” And the author of this newsletter argues there should be less ambiguity in the U.S’s “strategic ambiguity” policy on Taiwan.
Biden & Xi’s surprisingly cordial encounter
The meeting between U.S. president Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping that happened on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, turned out to be far friendlier than many expected.
“I’m not suggesting this is kumbaya, you know, everybody’s going to go away with everything in agreement,” Biden told
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