BEIJING – There’s a Chinese saying that stems from the philosophy in Sun Tzu’s ancient text “The Art of War”: You can kill 1,000 enemies, but you would also lose 800 soldiers.
Centuries later, the proverb is suddenly apt again, being mentioned frequently in discussions around Beijing. Now, it highlights the potential damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to start a trade war with China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
Having backed off some other campaign pledges, it’s unclear if Trump will end up slapping punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has signaled some optimism he will be more pragmatic in office. Still, the message from China is that any move to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would damage its long-standing ties with Asia. Continue reading →