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Why the US-China rivalry will not end with a trade deal

Why the US-China rivalry will not end with a trade deal

A US-China trade deal: if it happens – is unlikely to end the rivalry between the two economic giants.

Both sides have fought a trade war over the past year with damaging consequences for the global economy.

But many say their dispute goes well beyond trade – it represents a power-struggle between two very different world views.

Deal or no deal, that rivalry is only expected to broaden and become more difficult to resolve.

“We have entered into a new normal in which US-China geopolitical competition has intensified and become more explicit,” says Michael Hirson, Asia director at consultancy firm Eurasia Group.

“The trade deal will moderate one phase of the US-China power struggle, but only temporarily and with limited effect.”

The US-China rivalry is likely to play out next in the crucial technology sector, analysts say, as both sides try to establish themselves as the world’s technology leader.

Issues around technology transfer have been key during trade talks between the world’s two largest economies in recent months.

“Every country now correctly recognises that their prosperity, their wealth, their economic security, their military security is going to be linked to keeping a technological edge,” says Stephen Olson, research fellow at global trade advisory body Hinrich Foundation.