Breaking news and analysis on US-China relations, including trade war, talks, and tensions between Washington and Beijing.

How Hong Kong became stuck between a rock and a hard place
The United States sent shock waves on Wednesday evening by certifying that Hong Kong was no longer highly autonomous from China. It’s a crucial move that could set the city on the path to losing preferential economic and trade treatment it enjoys from Washington. That assessment, announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was regarded as a retaliatory action against Beijing’s plan to enact a national security law for Hong Kong. While protesters in Hong Kong cheered the US announcement, hoping it will force Beijing to abandon its hardline approach to the city, the business community fears the impact on the city’s reputation as an international financial center.  This is what the American
US no longer deems Hong Kong autonomous. Here’s what to expect
US President Donald Trump has to decide what actions to take after the US state department told Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer considered autonomous from China, an assessment that could threaten the city’s long-standing special trading status. “It’s a one-two action,” said David Stilwell, assistant secretary of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the state department, on Wednesday evening. “One being the state department making the assessment that Hong Kong no longer enjoys autonomy,” he told reporters, referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement earlier in the day. “And then, [the second action will be] the determination by the White House as to h
Hong Kong scrambles after US says city ‘no longer autonomous’
Economists, diplomats and business figures were scrambling on Thursday to quantify the effect of Washington’s decision to deem Hong Kong “no longer autonomous” from China.  The US decision came hours before China’s top legislature endorsed moves to impose national security legislation on the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under the promise that it would enjoy a high degree of autonomy.  Many of the Hong Kong stakeholders gamed out the “nuclear option,” in which the United States revokes the city’s special trading status. Former White House officials said that the most likely immediate scenario is that US President Donald Trump approves a “variety” of sanctions
Covid-19 blame game could scupper research, China’s top disease expert warns
The blame game between the US and China is putting important Covid-19 research at risk, according to China’s most renowned respiratory expert. Zhong Nanshan, 83 – who had a leading role in fighting the 2002-03 severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic and now advises the Chinese government on Covid-19 – said scientists around the world needed to team up to establish where the new coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, had come from. He said US epidemiologist Ian Lipkin, whom he had known since they worked together on the Sars outbreak, had approached him with a method to establish how the virus jumped to humans. But the work could be stalled for fear it would be distorted by political a
Trump hints at action on China over Hong Kong security law
President Donald Trump said his administration would “do something” within days about the situation in Hong Kong after the Chinese government decided to impose controversial national security legislation on the city. Critics said the proposed law threatened the civil liberties in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 as a highly autonomous special administrative region. On Wednesday, Hong Kong was embroiled in city-wide protests as the local legislature debated a bill that would criminalize booing the Chinese national anthem.  When asked if he was prepared to use sanctions against China over the national security legislation, Trump said: “We’re doing something now
Chinese bat scientist says known viruses ‘just tip of the iceberg’
A Chinese virologist at the center of conspiracy theories over the coronavirus’ origin has publicly defended her work, saying it contributed to the fast identification of the new pathogen and would help protect against future outbreaks. Shi Zhengli – dubbed China’s “bat woman” for her research on coronaviruses in the mammals – told state broadcaster CGTN on Monday those studies had “enabled us to understand the cause of the unknown pneumonia a short time” after the first cases of the disease later named Covid-19 emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Days after patient samples were obtained on December 30, scientists isolated the pathogen, believing it to be a new type
Inevitable war? China, America and their next battlegrounds
When thousands of China’s elites flock to Beijing for the delayed national legislative session starting on Friday, they will face a renewed debate about relations with the US. Specifically, can armed conflict between the two economic superpowers be avoided?  The question has taken a new urgency as acrimony escalates between Washington and Beijing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The question is also known as the Thucydides trap: an ancient Greek analogy that Harvard professor Graham Allison has popularized. In his 2017 book, Allison argued that wars were often unavoidable when a rising power challenges a ruling power. While observers mostly agree that an all-out war between the nuclear-armed nati
China’s military is asking for an even bigger budget. Here’s why
China’s military leaders are fighting for a substantial increase in their budget to be announced at an upcoming parliamentary session, arguing that the world’s largest standing army needs more resources to cope with volatile challenges at home and overseas.  At the top of the list is the growing confrontation with the United States. China-US relations have hit a low point amid a trade war, spats over civil liberties and Taiwan, and conflicts over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Disputes between Washington and Beijing over the origins of the coronavirus have added to the toxic brew. From Beijing’s viewpoint, the military threats are on its doorstep with US bombers runnin
41% of Americans shun China’s products. The mistrust is mutual
The coronavirus pandemic is fueling mistrust among consumers in China and the United States of each country’s products.  A recent survey by Deutsche Bank’s big data platform dbDIG showed 41% of Americans would not buy a “Made in China” product again. 35% of Chinese would avoid buying products “Made in USA.” Even though most consumers were not ready to completely shun each other’s goods, the survey results indicate a rise in commercial nationalism and a growing distaste for globalization, said Apjit Walia, an analyst at Deutsche Bank. US consumer distrust of Chinese products has been boosted by comments from American officials, particularly President Donald Trump, who has blamed China for th
China to investigate ambassador’s death in Israel
China is sending a team of investigators to Israel to probe the death of Du Wei, its ambassador to the country, whose body was found at his residence in Tel Aviv on Sunday. The team, accompanied by a member of Du’s family, will handle arrangements for the remains, as well as conducting its own internal investigation, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Du, 57, died unexpectedly “of health reasons.” Du was last seen in public on Tuesday in a video conference with an official from Israel’s foreign affairs ministry, according to the embassy website. Du was assigned to serve in Israel in February, when China was in the throes of the corona