This is the first comprehensive study by the world’s leading scholars about the political logic of the U.S.-China trade war that started during the Trump administration. The book is divided into three parts. The first part looks at changed leadership styles of the two countries in the last few years. It also examines the liberal international order since World War II in which the trade war emerged. It then explores the theoretical perspectives from both the United States and China that are related to the trade war. The second part is about the domestic factors that impacted on the trade war from China’s perspective. These factors include China’s institutional adaptation of the new international environment, the radicalization of the Chinese political discourse, and Big Power Diplomacy. The third part explores the U.S. domestic factors that impacted the trade war, such as the Trump administration’s different China policy in general, the role played by the U.S. Congress, business lobby, and the transition of foreign policy from a Wilsonian World Order to Jacksonian Nationalism.
Shiping Hua is Calvin & Helen Lang Distinguished Chair in Asian studies, director of Asian Studies Program and professor of political science at the University of Louisville.
Part 1: Theories and the Global Context
Introduction: Global Context and Personality Politics
Shiping Hua, The University of Louisville
Chapter 1: The Logic of Power Politics: The Thucydides Trap and the China-U.S. Trade War
Greg Moore, Colorado Christian University
Chapter 2: IR Theory with Chinese Characteristics: Interpreting Global Politics Through Chinese Exceptionalism Lens
Benjamin Ho, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Chapter 3: The Liberal International Order after WWII.
Michael Fowler, University of Louisville
Part 2: Domestic Factors (China)
Chapter 4: Institutional Adaptation and Regime Resilience under Xi Jinping
Steve Hess, Transylvania University
Chapter 5: Great Power Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics and US-China Trade War
Ngeow (Peter) Chow-Bing, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Chapter 6: Chinese Domestic Politics and the Trade War.
R. Lincoln Hines, Cornell University
Chapter 7: The Radicalization of China’s Global Posture, Narratives and Strategies.
Zhimin Lin, Valparaiso University, Qi Wang, University of Macau
Part 3: Domestic Factors (USA)
Chapter 8: U.S. Domestic Politics and the Trade War
Robert Sutter, George Washington University
Chapter 9: Missionary Zeal, Profits and Constituent Interests: The Politics Behind Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China and Current Reactions
Larry Wortzel, American Foreign Policy Council.
Chapter 10: The Impact of U.S. Domestic Politics on the Trade War.
Chung-chian Teng and Yeh-chung Lu, National Chengchi University, Taiwan.
Chapter 11: US-China Policy under Trump:The Politics of International Economic Relations
Gordon C. K. Cheung, Durham University, UK.
Chapter 12: The U.S. Congress and the Business Lobby
Jack Zhang, University of Kansas.
Chapter 13: Trump, Biden, and China: From a Wilsonian World Order to Jacksonian Nationalism
Dean Chen, Ramapo College of New Jersey.
About the Contributors
The US-China trade war seems to have erupted without warning, only to be paused with a temporary deal, but it has endured even after the Trump presidency. This timely volume brings together an assemble of international experts to explore the origins and process of the trade war. It considers the material and ideational factors behind the unraveling of a decades-long economic engagement in terms of a two-level game involving the domestic and international politics in both countries. The book sheds much light on the trade war and the dynamics of the emerging great-power competition between China and the United States.
Culminating between 2018–2020, the trade-war dynamics between the US and China attracted economists' attention but remained poorly understood in IR terms. Donald Trump and Xi Jinping's unique personalities loomed large here but there were also deep-seated structural issues at play. Beyond personalization, and ever sensitive to the ideological dimension in either country, Professor Hua has fortunately recruited a group of world-leading experts to plug the knowledge gap. Theoretically and historically-informed, his panel of political scientists deliver the first truly comprehensive and balanced account of the trade clash between Trump and Xi. This is a thought-provoking volume of immense intellectual insight and clarity that will appeal to academics and students alike. It is a must read for those wanting to gage how the Biden Administration might bargain with China in the months to come.
A posse of political scientists have been corralled to analyze the underpinning logic of the current US-China trade war. Set within the war’s global context and Xi versus Trump personality politics, this insightful study explores contributing domestic factors in both countries, pertinent to the likely future trajectory of bilateral relations.