Washington’s arm sales to Taipei this year have angered Chinese officials who oppose countries pursuing relations with the East Asian island. According to the One China Policy, Taiwan and mainland China are considered part of the same territory. Xi’s administration has also been angered by U.S. naval patrols in the South China Sea. The country claims nearly all of the international waterway despite competing claims from neighboring Asian countries.
The fact that China’s statement on this past weekend’s temporary tariff ceasefire highlighted Trump’s promise to respect the One China Policy — something not mentioned in the White House’s version — reveals the importance Beijing attaches to its national interests, Kucik said.
A lasting resolution to the trade war will require multiple compromises on such matters, the professor continued. For Xi’s administration, “trade takes a back seat to territory,” according to Kucik.
Others, however, disagree with that argument.
It is certainly clear that the White House views Beijing as a strategic competitor beyond the realms of trade, said Patrick Lozada, director of Albright Stonebridge Group’s China practices. But those matters don’t have any bearing on the trade spat, he warned: “The current dynamic of tit for tat trade actions is not related to other non-trade issues.”