The author poses a deeper conflict of strategies between that of China's economic strategy to attain what is called "industry 4.0", as elaborated in an official Chinese government document called "China 2025", with the US Empire's strategy of putting China's economic back into the fold of a subordinate economic engine to supply US corporations with cheap labor, high profits, and a market for US high tech products.
Engdahl explains the Chinese history behind this and Trump's rather crude response which is likely to backfire.
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this will not end in any victory for Trump or the US economy. The reaction of the bloated US stock markets to recent escalations suggest he risks popping the greatest speculative bubble in US stock market history, something that would trigger a financial crisis far worse than 2008. All of which suggests the old saying, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.The US ruling class directorate doesn't like this Chinese strategy anymore than Trump, but it also doesn't like the crude way that Trump goes about fighting the Chinese with the blunt weapon of a trade war. This is revealed in an article published in a Council of Foreign Relations website, a major ruling class organ, entitled "Why Does Everyone Hate Made in China 2025?" in which they explain why they hate "China 2025".
Trump has decided to launch not a trade war but a confrontation between Washington’s version of a US-run globalized economy versus China’s vision of national sovereign economic development. Today we see an increasing divide opening between nations such as China, Russia, Iran and several European countries such as Hungary or Austria who realize that the agenda of US-riven globalization spells disaster for their future. This divergence is the most significant tectonic fault line in world geopolitics and will define whether the world descends into a new depression or develops a model for growth and expansion centered around the infrastructure of China and Russia Eurasian cooperation.
The US economy is in no shape to win such a confrontation, nor will Xi Jinping back down. This could get very nasty. China is responding very carefully and in measured moves.
Technology transfer agreements and restrictive market practices in China present a ... problem. Foreign companies often enter agreements to transfer valuable intellectual property to Chinese partner in exchange for market access. These agreements can be exploitative and highlight the asymmetries in market access between China and the rest of the world. Speaking about Chinese takeovers of German firms, Germany's Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany should not sacrifice “its companies on the altar of free markets” while China denies German firms equal access to invest in the Chinese market.Of course, the US ruling class is not only worried about German firms but other firms throughout the world, and with particular concerns with US high tech corporations which are often seduced by agreements that provide them with immense short term profits in exchange for Chinese access to advanced technology.