CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Project Syndicate)—At the Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress last month, the country’s one-man rule under Xi Jinping became fully entrenched. Though communist China has never been a democracy, its post-Mao leaders kept their ears to the ground, paid attention to voices from below, and thus were able to reverse failing policies before they became disastrous. Xi’s centralization of power represents a different approach, and it does not bode well for how the country will deal with its mounting problems—the tanking economy, the costly zero-COVID policies, growing human-rights abuses, and political repression.
“ So, to be clear, China is a threat not because it undermines any fundamental U.S. security interests, but because it will want to exercise influence over the rules of the global political and economic order as it gets richer and more powerful. ”
President Biden met Chinese leader Xi Jinping ahead of a G-20 summit in Indonesia, in their first face-to-face talks since Biden became president. WSJ’s Andrew Restuccia reports on how the U.S. and China are looking to ease tensions after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s August visit to Taiwan. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Economic war on China President Joe Biden has significantly added to these challenges by launching what Edward Luce of the Financial Times has appropriately called “a full-blown economic war on China.” Just before the Party Congress, the U.S. announced a vast array of new restrictions on the sale of advanced technologies to Chinese firms. As Luce notes, Biden has gone much further than his predecessor, Donald Trump, who had targeted individual companies such as Huawei. The new measures are astounding in their ambition, aiming at nothing less than preventing China’s rise as a high-tech power. The U.S. already controls some of the most critical nodes of the global semiconductor supply chain, including “chokepoints” such as advanced chip research and design. As Gregory C. Allen of the Center for Strategic and International Studies puts it, the new measures entail “an unprecedented degree of U.S. government intervention to not only preserv …