Superpower Showdown: How the Battle Between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War

Superpower Showdown: How the Battle Between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War

Superpower Showdown: How the Battle Between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War

Superpower Showdown: How the Battle Between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War


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This is the inside story of the US–China trade war, how relations between these superpowers  unraveled, darkening prospects for global peace and prosperity, as told by two Wall Street Journal reporters, one based in Washington, D.C., the other in Beijing, who have had more access to the decision makers in the White House and in China’s Zhongnanhai leadership compound than anyone else.

The trade battle between China and the U.S. didn’t start with Trump and won’t end with him, argue Bob Davis and Lingling Wei. The two countries have a long and fraught political and economic history which has become more contentious over the past three years—an escalation that has negatively impacted both countries' economies and the world at large—and holds the potential for even more uncertainty and disruption.

 How did this stand-off happen? How much are U.S. presidents and officials who haven't effectively confronted or negotiated with China to blame? What role have Chinese leaders, and U.S. business leaders who for decades acted as Beijing’s lobbyists in Washington, played in driving tensions between the two countries?

Superpower Showdown is the story of a romance gone bad. Uniquely positioned to tell the story, Davis and Wei have conducted hundreds of interviews with government and business officials in both nations over the seven years they have worked together writing for the Wall Street Journal. Analyzing U.S.–China relations, they explain how we have reached this tipping point, and look at where we could be headed. Vivid and provocative, Superpower Showdown will help readers understand the context of the trade war and prepare them for what may come next.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062953056
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/09/2020
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 394,284
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Bob Davis is a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior editor covering economic issues at the Wall Street Journal’s Washington D.C. bureau, and continues to write about China, where he was posted from 2011 to 2014. He has served as the Journal’s bureau chief in Brussels covering the European Union, and as the Latin America bureau chief. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Lingling Wei is an award-winning senior China correspondent, who was based in the Wall Street Journal’s Beijing bureau from 2011 until China expelled Journal reporters in the spring of 2020. Hailing from a farm province in southeastern China, she came of age as a journalist in New York and then returned to China in early 2011 to report on changes in her homeland. She is now based in New York and focuses on the intersection of Chinese politics and the economy.

Table of Contents

A Note to Readers ix

Introduction: Threat of War, December 2018 1

1 Miscalculations, April-May 2019 13

2 China's Rise, 1980s and 1990s 37

3 Taking On China, 1993 53

4 Boss Zhu Arrives, April 1999 65

5 Nailing Jell-O to the Wall, March 2000 87

6 China to the Rescue, 2008 99

7 American Backlash, 2009 115

8 The Leaders: Trump's China; Xi's America 135

9 Flood the Zone, December 2016 159

10 Things Fall Apart, Summer-Fall 2017 175

11 Liu He Gets a Lecture, March 2018 197

12 American Disarray, May 2018 215

13 A Buying Mission, June 2018 231

14 The Complaint: Chinese Arm-Twisting 249

15 Old Friends No More, September 2018 271

16 Couples Therapy, Fall 2018 289

17 Ping-Pong Diplomacy, January 2019 313

18 Bring Your Companies Home, August 2019 335

19 Negotiating a Truce, December 2019-January 2020 359

20 Looking Ahead: Cold War II 387

Epilogue 415

Acknowledgments 423

Notes 427

Index 445

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